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Trash & Recycling

We are standardizing all of our waste bins on campus through our waste reduction program to match international standards  — blue for recycle, green for compost, and black for landfill. The program we are deploying across campus through Facilities Services and in cooperation with Sodexho is in line with national waste diversion program standards. A black container is always paired with a blue container, and a green container is always placed in rooms where food catering occurs, in break rooms, and in bathrooms for composting of paper towel waste. We've seen significant results from this program and applaud your efforts in diverting waste from landfills!

Many people have had questions about what can and cannot be recycled or composted. Our waste hauler, Bestway Disposal, has specific guidelines on this topic for the facilities available in our area. Here are some general guidelines to address some of the most common questions:

Compost

Compostable items items are processed at a commercial compost site in southeast Colorado Springs. The compost is ground and frequently turned. Water is added and after some time and labor, the compost is converted into a product that will be sold as a soil amendment. Some items that are commercially compostable will not break down properly in a backyard compost setting.

  • Food scraps
  • EcoProducts GreenStripe cold cups, lids, and straws (Including wrappers)
  • EcoProducts coffee cups, lids, and sleeves
  • EcoProducts and other paper plates
  • Bon Appetit white pastry slips and brown waxed paper
  • Bon Appetit muffin wrappers
  • Bon Appetit paper and cellophane sandwich wrappers
  • Bon Appetit lunch boxes (All contents including wrappers)
  • Bon Appetit brown paper napkins
  • Pizza boxes
  • Compost labeled brown paper bags
  • Restroom paper towels (All contents of bathroom waste receptacles are composted)
  • Commercially compostable labeled cutlery (Beige forks, knifes, and spoons occasionally used by Bon Appetit)

Recycling

For Bestway recycling, recyclables do not have to be sorted; they are processed in a single-stream. However, recycled items cannot be within a plastic bag, as it jams the sorting machinery. Only loose items are accepted. Items in plastic bags are sent to the landfill. Bestway accepts the following items for recycling:

  • Plastics labeled #1-7 (No styrofoam)
  • Black Bon Appetit plastic plates
  • EcoProducts GreenStripe Cold Cups (If you can’t find a compost bin for them!)
  • Bon Appetit prepared food and sushi containers and lids
  • Newspaper
  • Office paper
  • Flattened corrugated cardboard
  • Mixed paper
  • Chipboard
  • Brown paper bags
  • Steel or tin cans
  • Glass bottles and jars (all colors)
  • Aluminum cans
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Liquid detergent bottles
  • Aluminum foil
  • Aluminum catering food trays
  • Bulk or junk mail
  • Plastic milk jugs
  • Milk or juice cartons that are labeled recyclable
  • Magazines, catalogs, and phone books
  • Empty vitamin bottles
  • Yogurt containers
  • Butter tubs
  • Soda carrier boxes
  • Paper towel and toilet paper tubes
  • Food boxes (popcorn and microwave)
  • Paper egg cartons

Landfill

If all materials are properly placed in recycling and compost, landfill items become a minimal part of the waste stream. During the Trash Peak waste audit last year, fully 60 percent of items thrown in the trash could have been recycled or composted!

  • Black Bon Appetit cutlery
  • Black Bon Appetit napkins
  • Most plastic wrappers (chips, bags, candy wrappers, etc.)
  • Metallic yogurt and other container lids
  • Single-serving cream cheese, peanut butter, and sauce containers
  • Bottle caps (metal and plastic)
  • Styrofoam
  • Broken glass jars and bottles

Batteries, small electronics, and printer ink cartridges can be recycled in the lower level of the Worner Center, the first floor of Tutt Library, and in the Hbyl Community Center at East Campus.

Plastic grocery bags are not accepted in single-stream recycling, but can be brought to most retailers and grocery stores for recycling.

For hazardous material disposal, please call Denise Sheridan at (719) 389-6678. 

If you have additional questions, please call the Office of Sustainability at (719) 389-6025.