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Recycle

Recycling at American University

Paper & Paperboard | Cardboard | Metal, Plastic & Glass | Batteries | Cell Phones | Clothes | E-Waste | Ink Cartridges | Plastic Bags

Receptacles for items that you may need to recycle infrequently such as clothes, batteries, ink cartridges, cell phones, plastic bags, and computers, monitors, and other e-waste can be found in several locations on AU's campus. Do your part to keep these easily recycled and often toxic items out of the landfill.

If you encounter a missing bin or would like to request a bin for a new area, please put in a 2FIX ticket with the location and description of the missing bin.

Paper and Cardboard

Paper and Cardboard

The blue bins located throughout campus are for waste that is either paper or cardboard. Any paper or cardboard that is wet or soiled can go into the orange organic waste containers. Here is a list of common items to put into these containers. For a full list, visit the Zero Waste sorting guide.

Paper and Cardboard:

  • All dry paper (office paper, white and colored paper)
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Paperboard (e.g. cereal boxes)
  • Flattened cardboard boxes
  • Sticky notes
  • Junk mail

 

Cardboard

Cardboard Recycling

Cardboard should be broken down and placed next to the zero waste bins. Please do not place them on top of the bins, preventing access for others to use. Housekeeping will collect the cardboard for recycling. 

Please remember to remove any Styrofoam or plastic film/bags as this will contaminate the cardboard recycling process. Any contaminated cardboard (e.g. pizza boxes) should be broken down and placed in the orange organic waste bins or to the side.

Metal, Plastic, and Glass

MPG

The green bins located throughout campus are for waste made from metal, plastic (#1-7), and glass. Here is a list of common items to put into these containers. For a full list, visit the Zero Waste sorting guide. 

Metal:

  • Aluminum cans
  • Aluminum foil (with little food waste)
  • Tin cans and steel cans (soup cans, vegetable cans)
  • and more

Plastic (#1-7 except #6):

  • Water bottles
  • Empty clam-shell containers (empty food in Organic Waste container)
  • Coffee lids
  • Yogurt containers
  • and more

Glass:

  • Clear (flint)
  • Brown (amber)
  • Green (emerald)

Batteries

Most batteries end up in landfills, where they contaminate water and soil. Recycle batteries and buy rechargeable replacements.

Where to recycle:

  • Anderson Hall - Lobby
  • Hughes Hall - Lobby
  • Letts Hall - Lobby
  • Leonard Hall - Lobby
  • McDowell Hall - Lobby
  • Asbury - 2nd Floor Work Table
  • Bender Library - Lower Level Stairwell "RecycleLand"
  • Media Production Center - Basement
  • SIS Building - Main Entrance & Welcome Center
  • Ward Circle Building - Outside room 104
  • Career Center - 5th Floor Butler Pavilion

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Cell Phones

As of early 2010, there were already 4.6 billion cell phone users in the world. Every time one of those users gets a new cell phone and doesn't recycle or donate the old one, another cell phone - and all of the toxic components - end up in a landfill forever.

Where to recycle:

  • Anderson Hall - Lobby
  • Hughes Hall - Lobby
  • Leonard Hall - Lobby
  • Letts Hall - Lobby
  • McDowell Hall - Lobby
  • Mary Graydon Center - Near bridge entryway
  • Bender Library - Lower Level Stairwell "RecycleLand"

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Clothes

The average American now discards 68 pounds of clothing a year, wasting energy, water and landfill space. Clothing can be used again in one form or another. Instead of discarding, use Community Recycling bins on campus to donate.

Where to recycle:

Community Recycling Clothing

Community Recycling bins are located outside of Letts Hall at the entrance to the Letts-Anderson Quad and McDowell Hall.


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E-Waste

Electronic waste can be highly toxic and damaging to the environment. The speed at which technology changes means that we're throwing away a lot of electronics. Fortunately, many items can be reclaimed or recycled.

Where to recycle:

Surplus Electronics
  • First, consult this list to determine what items can be picked up.
  • All hard drives are performed using the Department of Defense Standard DoD 5220.22M to ensure data security.
  • For AU surplus electronic waste, please contact AUSurplus@american.edu to schedule a pick up for your electronics.
  • For personal electronics, American University hosts a Personal E-Waste drive on a quarterly basis throughout the year. For questions regarding this drive, please contact zerowaste@american.edu.

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Ink Cartridges

In the U.S., more than 13 cartridges are disposed of every second, totaling an estimated 375 million each year. Of the materials that make up ink cartridges, 97 percent can be reused and recycled. 

Where to recycle:

  • Anderson Hall - Lobby
  • Hughes Hall - Lobby
  • Leonard Hall - Lobby
  • Letts Hall - Lobby
  • McDowell Hall - Lobby
  • Mary Graydon Center - Near bridge entryway
  • Bender Library - Lower Level Stairwell "RecycleLand"

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Plastic Bags

Since the DC Bag Fee has taken effect, 75 percent of consumers report using less plastic bags. If you still have plastic bags, keep them out of the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers by recycling. AU's retail stores have also eliminated plastic bags and we encourage the community to use reusable tote bags. 

Where to recycle:

  • Anderson Hall - Lobby
  • Hughes Hall - Lobby
  • Leonard Hall - Lobby
  • Letts Hall - Lobby
  • McDowell Hall - Lobby
  • Bender Library - Lower Level Stairwell "RecycleLand"

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