American Studies

What We Recycle

Wesleyan has single-stream recycling!

Single‐stream recycling means that all paper, glass, metal, and plastic recyclables go into a single recycling bin and are sorted at the recycling facility. Single-stream 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.

SINGLE STREAM 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


  • Plastic #1 - 7 (drink bottles, yogurt cups, shampoo bottles, and peanut butter jars); check the bottom of most plastic containers for these symbols: Recycling Symbols
  • Block styrofoam
  • 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)
  • Milk cartons
  • Juice boxes
  • Greenware and other "compostable" plastic cups and lids (Pi cold cups are Greenware)
  • Paper cups
  • Plastic bags
  • Dirty or food contaminated items (including greasy pizza boxes)
  • Styrofoam containers
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Bubble wrap and packing peanuts (see "other" section)
  • Plastic wrap
  • K-Cup coffee pods
  • Plastic/Tyvek envelopes
  • Fed Ex/UPS-type envelopes
  • Carbon paper
  • Paper towels/tissues
  • Paper with crayon/poster paint
  • Glossy paper
  • Pyrex
  • 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; others are trash)
  • 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 
  • Styrofoam (block)
  • Textiles (clean linens, towels, clothing)

WHERE: Multiple collection locations: see Where We Recycle.