Recycling Services
Frequently Asked Questions

What do the numbers in the recycling triangle mean?

The numbers indicate what material the item is made from. The material type affects if and how the item can be recycled. Not all plastics are accepted for recycling through university or municipal recycling programs. What can be recycled changes with fluxuations in the market value of the plastic, because like any business, the economic feasibility of recycling the material has to be taken into account.

  • #1 is PET or PETE - polyethylene terephthalate
  • #2 is HDPE - high density polyethylene
  • #3 is V - Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
  • #4 is LDPE - low density polyethylene
  • #5 is PP - polypropylene
  • #6 is PS - polystyrene
  • #7 OTHER - other types of plastic. Can be PLA.

Why are type 1 bottles accepted but not type 1 containers?

Bottles and containers are manufactured differently and are not made from exactly the same material. Bottles are often made from purer PETE and have been exposed to different thermal strains during manufacturing than plastic thermoform containers. Bottle grade plastic makes higher quality plastic flake and chip, which is used to manufacture new products.

Check out these youtube videos for more!

Blown plastic (bottles)

Thermoform plastic (containers)

Why are aerosol cans not accepted?

Aerosol cans are a safety risk. Aerosol cans are combustible and have caused fires at recycling facilities.

Does what I recycle ever get thrown away instead of being recycled?

If items are placed in the bin are not currently being recycled, we will landfill them. These items can be contamination or items that are normally accepted but do not work with the existing market conditions. In those cases, we will sometimes decide to keep the forward facing recycling system the same despite market changes so users aren’t constantly learning new recycling schemes. We accommodate the changes back of the house until those items become recyclable again.

If I live off campus, where can I recycle?

Kite Hill Recycling Center! You can also bring your recycling to your city’s recycling drop off.

Is recycling economically worth it?

It is! It still costs us to recycle because the commodity values are not higher than our operating costs, but recycling costs less than landfilling does and it creates jobs for our team.

Do I need to rinse out containers before recycling them?

Yes, please! They don’t have to be perfect, but the cleaner the better.

Where can I recycle plastic bags?

Plastic bags can be recycled at grocery stores. Bins are usually located outside or inside near the store entrances.