Comprehensive Recycling Program

In support of a commitment to environmental sustainability, Columbia University executes an extensive recycling initiative, driven by key departments across its campuses.

What can YOU do?

  • Become familiar with the NYC Recycling Rules
  • Do you think you're a recycling pro? Play the Department of Sanitation's recycling game, and test your skills!
  • Learn about the recycling practices at Columbia

What to throw, and where?

Understanding proper waste segregation is crucial to a successful recycling program at Columbia. Do you know what to recycle and which is the proper bin to dispose of your waste?

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Recycling 101.
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We come from all over the world to Columbia University.
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This place is our home, and together we help take care of it by recycling.
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It's the Columbia thing to do.
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Seventy-five percent of trash is recyclable.
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But only about 30 percent makes it to the recycle bin.
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Let's do better.
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New York City recycles in two streams.
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Mixed paper and cardboard, which go in the green bins, and metal, glass, plastic and
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cartons, which go in the blue bins.
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Bins are in every Columbia building, usually in the lobby and hallway.
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Staples and tape on paper are okay.
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But paper towels, tissues and wet, sticky or otherwise icky materials should be thrown out.
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Rinse metal, glass, plastic and cartons before recycling.
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Styrofoam, shower curtains, toothpaste tubes and disposable razors?
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Dump them.
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Don't forget to donate your clothes and shoes to Wearable Collections, using the designated
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bins throughout the res halls.
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Plastic shopping bags can be recycled in your buildings.
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And take batteries, lightbulbs, electronics and hardcover books to the recycling station
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in the Lerner lobby.
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Now you know where to throw!
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That wasn't so bad, right?

What is Columbia Doing?

The more Columbia recycles, the more we save money and contribute to a sustainable environment. Environmental Stewardship works with campus partners such asĀ Environmental Health and Safety and Columbia Facilities to improve the University's recycling efforts. In recent years, the community recycled hundreds of tons of mixed paper and cardboard, 155 tons of electronics, 45 tons of lamps, 20 tons of batteries, tens of tons of glass, metal, and plastic, and much more.