What We Recycle

Wesleyan has mixed recycling!

Mixed recycling (also known as single-stream) means that all paper, glass, metal, and plastic recyclables go into a single recycling bin and are sorted at the recycling facility. Mixed recycling is much easier for you, but can increase contamination from dirty and liquid-filled items. If a recycling bin is too contaminated, it can make the entire bin unusable for recycling. Therefore, it is very important to empty and rinse and empty all food containers and dirty items before recycling them. The recycling sorting machines will not recycle any container that is full of liquid.

Download a campus recycling handout, or woodframe recycling handout for detailed information on what we recycle at Wesleyan. 

For information on other recyclable items (ink cartridges, bubble wrap, etc.), visit our Where We Recycle page.

MIXED RECYCLING (Paper, Glass, Metal, & Plastic)


These items all go into the single-stream bin


These items should be recycled elsewhere, reused, or trashed


  • White/colored paper
  • Copy paper ream wrap
  • Envelopes
  • Manila folders
  • Carbonless office forms
  • Post-It notes
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Hardback/paperback books (remove hardback covers)
  • Junk mail
  • Cereal boxes (remove plastic liner)
  • Pizza boxes (rip in half, greasy half is trash)
  • Corrugated and non-corrugated cardboard


Recycling Symbols 1-5

  • ALL Plastic #1 - 5 (drink bottles, yogurt cups, shampoo bottles, and peanut butter jars); check the bottom of most plastic containers for these symbols

Recycling Symbols 6-7

  • SOME Plastic #6 (all EXCEPT foam clamshells, foam cups, or plastic cutlery) and SOME Plastic #7 (all EXCEPT "compostable" ware, including Pi/Usdan cups)
  • laundry baskets, milk crates, and large plastic bins


  • Bottles and jars


  • Drink and food cans
  • Aluminum food containers (clean)
  • Aluminum foil (clean)
  • K-Cup foil lids (detach from plastic)
  • Whipped cream containers
  • Milk cartons
  • Juice boxes
  • Soup cartons

Recycling Symbols 6-7

  • SOME Plastic #6
    • foam clamshells
    • foam cups
    • plastic cutlery
  • SOME Plastic # 7
    • Greenware and other "compostable" plastic cups and lids - Pi cold cups are Greenware
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic bags (may be marked Plastic #4)
  • Dirty or food contaminated items (including greasy pizza boxes)
  • Paper towels (even if unused)
  • Tissues
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts (see "other" section)
  • Plastic wrap
  • K-Cup coffee pods
  • Plastic/Tyvek envelopes
  • Fed Ex/UPS-type envelopes
  • Tissues
  • Paper with crayon/poster paint
  • Glossy paper
  • Pyrex dishes
  • Photos
  • Light bulbs
  • String lights, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, aerosol cans (recyclable in Exley lobby)

WHERE: Mixed (single-stream) recycling bins are available in all campus buildings.




  • Aerosol cans (paint only)
  • Batteries (lead acid, NiCad, Li Ion, NiMh, Li)
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts
  • Cell phones
  • Computers and electronics
  • Fluorescent bulbs
  • Holiday string lights
  • Motor oil
  • Inkjet and toner cartridges
  • Scrap metal
  • Shoes (wearable)
  • String lights 
  • Textiles (clean linens, towels, clothing)

WHERE: Multiple collection locations: see Where We Recycle.