Recycle

What you can recycle at home might be different than at Wesleyan, but what's recyclable is the same in every city and town in Connecticut.  Click the expandable links below to learn more about recycling or download the newly updated printable recycling/compost handout.  

Mixed Recycling (Single Stream)

  • Paper & Cardboard
    • White/colored paper (staples/tape ok), including:
      • Post-its
      • Construction paper
      • Junk mail
      • NO shredded paper (clogs recycling machines)
    • Envelopes (if you can tear it, it's recyclable), including:
      • Manila envelopes
      • Envelopes with windows 
    • Printer paper wrap
    • Magazines
    • Newspapers
    • Corrugated cardboard (wavy inner layer; trash plastic packaging)
    • Boxboard (cereal boxes, tissue boxes, egg cartons etc.; trash plastic liners)
    • Pizza boxes (clean or greasy, just eat the pizza)
    • Books (remove hard covers)
    • Coffee cup sleeves
    • Milk cartons, juice boxes, soup cartons (remove straws)
  • Plastic
    Empty, wipe out, and leave lids on
    • Bottles (drinks, condiments, shampoo, lotion, detergent, etc.)
    • Tubs (yogurt, snack, take-out containers, Tupperware, etc.)
    • Jars (peanut butter, mayo, etc.)
    • Cups (includes Solo cups, NO Pi/Usdan cups)
    • Large hard plastic items (laundry baskets, milk crates, plastic bins, etc.)
    • Milk cartons, juice boxes, soup cartons
    • NO plastic bags → recycle at grocery stores (clog recycling machines)
  • Glass
    Empty, wipe out, and leave lids on
    • Food and drink bottles and jars 
  • Metal
    Empty and wipe out
    • Drink and food cans
    • Aluminum food containers
    • Aluminum foil (clean)
      • NO small pieces of foil, like yogurt lids or K-Cup lids (clog recycling machines)
    • Aerosol cans (food only)
These items cannot go in mixed recycling bins but are still recyclable. Find a collection location.
  • Other Recycling

    Recycle in neon green bins at Exley lobby (near Pi) and Usdan (north entrance)

    • Batteries (lead acid, NiCad, Li Ion, NiMh, Li)
    • CDs, DVDs, and cassette tapes
    • Cell phones
    • Compact fluorescent light bulbs
    • Ink cartridges
    • Small electronics
    • String/holiday lights
    • Writing utensils (all pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters)


    Contact Bill Nelligan in Facilities

    • Aerosol cans containing hazardous substances (paint, other chemicals))
    • Large electronics
    • Fluorescent light bulbs
    • Ink cartridges
    • Motor oil
    • Scrap metal


    Reuse via Freecycle or Donate

    • Packing peanuts
    • Bubble wrap
    • Textiles and wearable shoes (Big Brothers Big Sisters donation bins are in L lot by Butterfield A, in High/Low Rise parking lot, and at the Hewitt Circle)

Trash (Incinerator)

  • Some Plastic
    Don't be fooled - some of these items have plastic numbers on the bottom but still aren't recyclable!
    • Plastic bags (shopping bags, zip-lock bags, box liners, bubble wrap, plastic wrap) → recycle at stores
    • Styrofoam® (cups, containers, packing peanuts, etc.)
    • Cutlery (forks, spoons, knives - they're too small and fall through the cracks of the recycling machines)
    • Straws & stirrers
    • Plates & bowls
    • "Greenware" and other compostable bioplastics → compost these at Usdan dish return, Summerfields dish return, and outside Pi Cafe)
    • Black plastic containers 
    • Prescription bottles (they're too small and fall through the cracks of the recycling machines)
    • Loose bottle caps and small lids 
    • Bubble envelopes (Amazon, Fed Ex, UPS, etc. - if you can't tear it easily you can't recycle it)
    • K-cup coffee pods → recycle in offices via WB Mason
  • Some Paper
    • Paper cups, plates, bowls, take-out containers → Usdan/Pi ones are compostable at Usdan dish return, Summerfields dish return, and outside Pi Cafe
    • Paper towels and napkins (even if unused) → compost brown ones in dorm/residential composting and at Usdan dish return, Summerfields dish return, and outside Pi Cafe 
    • Tissues
    • Ice cream cartons 
    • Bubble envelopes (Amazon, Fed Ex, UPS, etc. - if you can't tear it easily, you can't recycle it)
    • Glossy/photo paper
    • Paper with crayon/poster paint
    • Shredded paper → recycle via ProSHRED in offices
    • Wrapping paper
    • Gift bags
    • Tissue paper
  • Other
    • Pyrex dishes
    • Light bulbs → CFLs and LEDs are recyclable in the green bins in Usdan and Exley lobbies
    • Aerosol cans (non-food)
    • Scrap metal (pots, pans, notebook spirals, etc.)
    • Wrappers (chips, candy, etc.)
Have a question about an item that's not on this list?  Visit recyclect.com or email sustainability@wesleyan.edu.