Frequently Asked Questions

Use the following links to access FAQs for each of the topics listed.

Glass

Can glass be recycled?
Can all glass be recycled?
Can lab glass be recycled?
What do I do with burned out lightbulbs or broken drinking glasses?
Can I recycle the glass from my broken window?
At the Stanford Recycling Drop-Off Center, do you currently collect wine bottles separately from the other glass bottles?

Metal

What goes in the scrap metal bin at the Stanford Recycling Drop-Off Center?
Do you accept steel cans and how are these different from tin cans?
Do I have to rinse off all of the food from the aluminum foil before I can recycle it?

Can I recycle aluminum food serving dishes/trays?
What should I do if I see someone pulling aluminum cans out of the recycle bins?
Why should we recycle aluminum cans?
How much energy is saved by recycling aluminum cans?

Plastic

What type of plastic containers can be recycled at the Stanford Recycling Center?
Is the cap of a recyclable plastic bottle also recyclable?
What steps should I take to recycle my plastic bottles?
What happens to plastic bottles once I place it in the recycle bin?
Can I recycle plastic bags, bubble wrap, air pillows, and dry cleaning bags?
Can I recycle old photographs and negatives?
Can I recycle Styrofoam?
Can lab plastics be recycled?
Can pipette trays be recycled?
What are aseptic containers and can they be recycled?
Why does one community recycle one type of plastic while another community doesn't?
How many water bottles are recycled and why should we recycle them?
What does the number on the bottom of the container mean?
What are the seven types of plastic?
What is PETE Plastic?
What are some of things that #1 PETE Plastic can be made into?
What types of products are packaged in PETE containers?
PETE bottles cannot be recycled back into food and beverage containers. True or False?
What is the difference between blow molded and injection molded plastic and why does it matter?

Paper

What kind of paper should go in the mixed paper bin?
Why don't we have to sort the paper into so many categories at the Stanford Recycling Drop Off Center?
I often see people taking magazines out of the recycling bins at the Stanford Recycling Drop-Off Center. Is this okay?
What should be done with semi-glossy advertisement inserts in the newspaper?
How do I recycle cardboard?
What should I do with cereal boxes and gift boxes?
Can catalogs be recycled?
We just received our new phone books. What should we do with the old ones?
Can books be recycled? I tried to sell my books back, but they didn't take them all.
Can I recycle old photographs and negatives?
What are aseptic containers and can they be recycled?
Why can’t pizza boxes be recycled?
What should I do with slightly used paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins, or paper cups?
Can I recycle my bows, ribbons, wrapping paper, and boxes?
What can I do with old greeting cards?
I am concerned about identity theft. Where can I take personal papers to be destroyed?
How do I reduce my junk mail?
What are the key benefits to recycling paper?
How do you know what paper can be recycled and what paper can't be recycled?

Contamination

What items are considered contaminants in recycling?
Why can’t pizza boxes be recycled?
What should I do with slightly used paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins, or paper cups?
Should I recycle materials contaminated with food? For example, should I recycle cardboard pizza boxes with food attached to the cardboard? Or should I recycle plastic frozen dinner trays with a small amount of food?
I am confused about paper food containers. What is recyclable?
Can I recycle old photographs and negatives?

Yard Waste/Organics/Composting

How can I get more information about home composting?
What can and can't I compost?
How do I compost?
What can you put into a residential compost pile?
Why do I need a compost bin?
Can I put fruit and vegetables in with yard clippings?
What do I do with the yard waste that does not fit into the cart?
What should I do with palm fronds?
Can I put clean lumber in with yard waste?
I am cutting down a tree. Can I recycle it?
How do I recycle my holiday tree?
What is grasscycling?
What is vermi-composting?
What is the Dirt Cake Recipe?
What are some tips for a greener garden?

Service on Campus

When are the recycling bins emptied on campus?
If I leave cardboard by the recycling bins, will it be picked up?
Should we set our recyclables out in rainy weather?
What if I have more recyclable material than fits in my curbside bins?
Should I put out my curbside recycling bins every week even if they are just half full?
Why does the recycling collector leave items in my curbside recycling bin?
Do cardboard boxes have to be flatten for collection?
What should I do if I see someone scavenging through my curbside recycling bin?
What size garbage cans are we allowed to have?
I have extra bags of garbage. Can I just place them next to the garbage cans?
Do you offer debris box service?
What is construction and demolition waste and how do we reduce or recycle it?
How should I prepare for the Fall or Spring Clean Up in the Faculty Staff Housing Area?
How do I dispose of a refrigerator?
What should I do with palm fronds?
How do I dispose of or recycle electronic waste?

Special Events Recycling

Bottles and Cans

What kinds of bottles and cans can be recycled?
How many recycling bins do I need to order?

Paper/Cardboard

What kinds of paper and cardboard can be recycled?
How many containers do I need?

Food/Compostables

What kinds of compostable materials can be recycled?
What are the special requirements for Food/Compost Collection?
How many containers do I need?

Household Hazardous Waste

Where can I take my Household Hazardous Waste?
Where can I go to find some used paint or other products that are consider household hazardous waste?
What is the new Universal Waste law (2006) and how does it effect me?
Why have these items been banned from the landfill?
If I can’t throw this stuff in the trash how do I get rid of it?
How do I know if a particular electronic device can’t be thrown in the trash?
What is Universal Waste and why can't I put it in the trash?
Why can’t we recycle our household batteries at the Stanford Recycling Center?
Where can I recycle my used motor oil?
Where can I recycle my laptop battery?
How do I dispose of used injection needles?
How do I dispose of mercury containing thermometers?
How do I dispose of a refrigerator?
How much oil would it take to contaminate 1 million gallons of fresh water (one year’s supply for 50 people)?

Electronic Waste

What is e-waste?
What do we do with e-waste?
What is the Electronic Waste Recycling Act?
What is the 2006 Universal Waste Law?
Are cathode ray tubes are hazardous waste?
What is banned from the landfill?
How do I recycle and dispose of electronic scrap?
What are the procedures for University Departments to recycle electronic scrap and equipment?
What are the procedures for Campus Residents and community to recycle electronic scrap and equipment?
How do I dispose of my computer, television or other electronic items?
Computer manufacturer's exchanges, takebacks, and recycling?
Where can I find additional information?

Buying Recycled

Why should I buy recycled paper?
Where can I find more information and resources on buying recycled?
Where can I find greeting cards made with recycled paper?
Where can I find gifts that are good for the environment?
Are all recycled products required to be labeled as a recycled product?
What is the difference between pre-consumer and post-consumer material?
What do the terms "recycled", "recyclable", "post-consumer" and "pre-consumer" mean?
What is America Recycles Day?
What gets recycled into what?
What is the Shop Smart Campaign?
What are “Green” Hotels and why stay at a “Green” Hotel?

Holiday Waste Prevention

How much extra waste is created during the winter holiday season?
How can I reduce waste during the winter holiday season?
How can I reduce waste and buy great gifts this holiday season?
How can I protect the planet this holiday season?
What are some Green Resolution that I can consider this year?

Reuse Options

How can I find places to donate usable items to?
I noticed that when everyone moves out at the end of the year, there is a lot of good stuff in the dumpsters. Does any one sort through them to remove the good stuff and give it to charity?
What is Freecycle?
What can I do with old skis?
Where can I donate old games and toys?
How do I reuse and/or recycle fabric?
Which is better paper bags or plastic bags?

Benefits of Recycling

Why is it important to recycle?
What is recycling's greatest economic benefit?
What are the environmental benefits of recycling?
Can recycling save energy?
How much energy is saved by recycling?
How much energy is in a can?
What is the connection between source reduction and reduction in green house gas emissions?

At Stanford

How much waste does Stanford divert from the landfill?
Has Stanford won any awards for its recycling program?
I am interested in recycling on campus, how can I get more involved?
Do you offer tours of the Stanford Recycling Center?

More on Recycling

How does recycling work?
What do the three chasing arrows mean?
Why do we have to sort our recyclables?
What happens to all the recyclables dropped off at the Stanford Recycling Center?
Why are some things recyclable and others are not?
Why can't I recycle everything?
I want to recycle items not accepted at the Stanford Recycling Center. How do I find out where to go?
Where can I find the definition of terms on consumer labels, like "recyclable" or "natural"?
What do the terms "recycled", "recyclable", "post-consumer" and "pre-consumer" mean?
What is Product Stewardship?
How much volume of our trash is packaging?
How many pounds of trash does the average American produce each year?
How has California's Bottle Bill helped bottle and can recycling?
Ever ask a beverage container why you should recycle?
What is the Shop Smart Campaign?
How can I reduce paper waste by changing my margins?
What are some waste minimization practices that I could use in my office/building/business/home?
How can I find how to reduce waste from school lunches?
Where can I find websites that talk about recycling and are geared toward children?
What is construction and demolition waste and how do we reduce or recycle it?