How It Works

The following table provides a brief summary of common recyclable and non-recyclable items.  To determine if additional items are recyclable, use Seattle Public Utilities' "Look It Up" feature.


  Not Recyclable
Copy/printer paper Lids (less than 3" wide)
Paper bags & cartons Food soiled items
Glass bottles & jars Napkins
Flattened cardboard boxes Facial tissue
Cans (aluminum, tin, etc.) Ziplock bags
Aluminum foil (clean/rinse first) Single plastic bags
Lids (wider than 3") Plastic food bags
Plastic bottles, containers & jars Plastic utensils
Plastic bags (bag together) Styrofoam


All Campus Buildings

All recyclable items (paper, plastic, metal, and glass) can be deposited in any recycle container on campus--no sorting necessary.

On-Campus Apartments

Apartment residents are asked to provide a recycle bin for their individual unit, which they can empty into their building's outdoor recycle dumpster.


Compost service for food waste is also offered at campus apartments. For instructions on which items are compostable, refer to the "Food and Yard Waste" poster provided to each apartment unit or use Seattle Public Utilities' "Look It Up" feature.


Various departments have worked to integrate waste diversion principles into their operations.  Here are some examples:


  • Composting: Both yard and food waste are collected by Cedar Grove Composting. Gwinn Commons and Subway compost food waste.
  • Auto Shop: Oil, oil filters, antifreeze, and vehicle batteries from the University's motor pool are recycled or turned in for refinement/recharging and reuse.
  • Building Maintenance: University-owned appliances are turned in for recycling or reuse, while metals (iron, copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, etc.) are collected to be refined and turned back into raw form for resale.
  • Computer Equipment: University-owned computers are donated or recycled via RE-PC at the end of their life cycle.
  • Construction: The University makes a concerted effort to recycle construction and demolition waste as well as everyday materials. Our newest building, the Cremona Classroom Building, was completed in 2011 and achieved a 93% landfill diversion rate.


For information on how to recycle additional miscellaneous items, such as printers or non-University owned furniture, please refer to the Solutions section of this site.