Recycling: Blue Bins

  • Cans (tin, aluminum, etc.)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Paper (colored, glossy, office, newspaper)
  • Paperboard (like cereal boxes)
  • Plastics (mug jugs, soda bottles, and disposable water bottles)
  • Cardboard (flattened and with liners removed)
  • Cartons (ex: almond milk containers)

Make sure everything is free of food waste before recycling it, otherwise it will contaminate the other recyclables and cause all contents of the bin to be thrown out.

On campus, be sure to flatten boxes and take corrugated cardboard (which has a ribbed filling inside two thin sheets of cardboard) to the cardboard dumpsters behind:

  • Old Barrows
  • Philips
  • Dascomb
  • Allen Art Museum
  • In the mailroom
  • Tank
  • Fairchild (the dorm)
  • Lord/Saunders
  • Science Center
  • Keep
  • Wilder
  • Stevenson
  • Talcott
  • Harkness
  • Burton

Note: Waxed cardboard boxes cannot be put in cardboard dumpsters. Do not drop it off at co-ops as this can result in food safety citations. Glossy and shiny cardboard, however, can be recycled. If you are unsure if your cardboard is shiny or waxed, run your fingernail across the side of the box. If a layer of wax peels off, it is waxed. Otherwise it is not and can be recycled. If your cardboard is greasy, place in landfill not recycling bin.

Special Collections

Special recycling collections are for materials that can be recycled but not in the usual blue bins. Progress is being made in this area. The graphic represents the best locations at current and will be updated as progress is made.

Special collection recycling programs are available for materials that can be recycled, but not in the blue bins. Such items include lightbulbs, solo cups, toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, ink and toner cartridges, clothing and textiles, electronic waste, scrap metal, and paper. Please contact recycle@oberlin.edu to learn more!

Alternative to Blue Bins

When you have a lot of office paper, take it to the green-and-yellow Paper Retriever bins around campus, located in the Stevenson/Mudd parking lot or the Stevenson/Keep parking lot. Paper from these dumpsters is picked up by Abitibi Consolidated, a company that pays us for our recycled paper. These dumpsters will accept all office paper and newspaper and even cardboard.

Also, look for the blue containers marked Nothing Personal near the printers in campus computer rooms. One-sided office paper collected there will be turned into notepads and made available to students free by the RCT. Place paper blank side up.