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:
Compostable 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
- Paper napkins, cups, and plates
- Pizza boxes
- Pastry slips/waxed paper
- Benji's lunch kits (including wrappers!)
- Napkins/paper towels (all bathroom paper towel waste is composted)
- Commercially compostable and labeled plant-based plastic wrappers, cups, and cutlery (i.e. - beige plastic cutlery from Bon Appetit).
For Bestway recycling, recyclables do not have to be sorted (termed Single-Stream). However, recycled items cannot be in 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 in recycling:
- Office paper
- Flattened corrugated cardboard
- Mixed paper
- Brown paper bags
- Steel or tin cans
- Plastics labeled #1-7 (except styrofoam)
- Glass bottles and jars (all colors)
- Aluminum cans
- Empty aerosol cans
- Liquid detergent bottles
- Aluminum foil
- Bulk or junk mail
- Plastic milk jugs
- 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
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!
- Most plastic wrappers (chips, bags, etc.)
- Yogurt container lids/tops
- Bottle caps (metal and plastic)
- Broken glass jars and bottles
Batteries, small electronics, and printer ink cartridges can be recycled in the bin across from the Worner Desk.
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.