Hamo the Hornet wearing a recycling logo on his shirt

For almost 30 years, Kalamazoo College has used recycling to create a more sustainable campus and to expand its initiatives to include the reduction of waste and the re-use of materials.  Our recycling program exists at the forefront of the College’s commitment to sustainability and a carbon-neutral campus.

Where can I recycle?

Each dorm room has a small blue bin for your recyclables.  When full, drop recyclables at the nearest recycling station, either between Harmon and Hoben, behind Crissey and Severn, or in the parking lot between Trowbridge and DeWaters.  Each academic building also has large blue bins for recycling. Large blue bins take all recyclables: paper, cardboard, plastic, etc.

What is recyclable (in commingled recycling bins)?

**Note: All recyclables should be clean when deposited in the commingled recycling bins. 

  • Plastic: All hard types #1-#7
    • ONLY if each piece has a recycling symbol
      • Unlabeled shards of a known-recyclable plastic should not be recycled
    • No size minimum
    • Labels may be left on
    • No stretchy or transparent plastic films like grocery, bread, ziplock bags, or saran wrap
      • Instead, they can be recycled at large retailers
  • Paper:
    • Printer paper
      • Shredded paper or other small scraps
        • Must be contained within paper bag
      • No glitter, stickers, tape, or anything non-cellulose
      • No lamination
      • No staples
    • Newspaper
      • Must be contained within bundle, bag, or tie
    • Magazines
    • Greeting cards
      • No glitter, felt, electronics, or anything non-cellulose
    • Paper gift bags
      • No glitter, ribbons, or anything non-cellulose
    • Books
      • Softcover
      • Hardcover
        • ONLY if covers, bindings, and cases have been removed
  • Cardboard: Pizza grease renders cardboard unrecyclable, but if you rip off the parts without grease it can be recycled!
    • Corrugated (delivery box)
    • Non-corrugated (cereal box)
    • MUST be broken down to take up less space
  • Metal:
    • Aluminum food packaging like cans, foil, and trays
      • Paper or plastic labels do not have to be removed
    • No scrap metal like steel or iron
  • Glass:
    • Any color
    • No broken items, pieces, or shards that may pose a threat to human sorters
  • Aerosol Cans:  Aerosol cans must be empty before they are drop into the commingle bin and recycled.

What is not recyclable (in commingled recycling bins)?

  • Styrofoam
  • Batteries, CFLs, and other e-waste
  • Tissues, Napkins, Candy Wrappers, Items with Food Residue, Food
  • To-Go cups, plates, and cutlery (even if unused) are never recyclable


E-waste is any item involving a circuit board, wiring, or plastic and metal that cannot easily be disconnected. E-waste also includes electronics that may be hazardous if thrown in the garbage or commingle stream.

Other types of e-waste items include: computers, printers, cartridges (ink or toner), cell phones, calculators, batteries, electric motors, light bulbs, peripherals (keyboards, mice, etc) and wires.

To recycle e-waste, please visit the e-waste recycling cabinet in Hicks, located around the corner from the Mail Center and near the Banquet Hall.