We compost!

Did you know that Brandeis composts all food waste in Lower Usdan and Sherman, and we have compost bins in Upper Usdan? Click on the image below to see where our compost goes!


How do I recycle...?

Best Buy and Staples collect items like old cell phones, home audio/video equipment, and some take rechargeable batteries, all for free. Check their sites for a list of what they will accept.

Not sure how to recycle something else? RecycleNation and Earth 911 list other locations where you can drop off items we do not collect on campus.

What can I recycle?

sustainability slideshow



For food containers, just scrape out all food & dump out all liquid, then it's clean enough to recycle

Cardboard & Paper

  • Corrugated
  • Boxboard
  • Paper Cartons
  • Office Paper
  • Junk Mail
  • Soft Cover Books
  • Magazines
  • Newspaper
  • Hanging file folders, even with metal or plastic components
  • Hardback books (with covers removed and put in trash)


  • Plastics #1–#7
  • 5-Gallon Pails
  • Pipette boxes


  • Aluminum cans
  • Tin
  • Foil
  • Foil pans (unless they are very dirty)


  • Bottles
  • Food & Beverage Jars


  • 3-ring binders (empty)

Trash / Bin of Last Resort

  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic Utensils
  • Dirty Recycling
  • Condiment Packets
  • Styrofoam 
  • Shrink Wrap
  • Broken Dishes
  • VHS or cassette tapes
  • CDs (cases are recyclable)


All food scraps & paper towels/napkins

  • Meat
  • Bones
  • Fish
  • Oils & Fats
  • Cheese
  • Breads
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Egg Shells
  • Tea Bags
  • Coffee Grounds & Filters
  • Paper Towels
  • Napkins
Note on "certified compostable" dishware: The "certified compostable" label can be misleading. It means that items are tested in "industrial composting facilties" to biodegrade by 60% in 180 days. However, these facilities are extremely limited in MA, and the majority of compost in the Boston area is sent to farm-style compost operations. Many "certified compostable" items that do make it to farm-style compost operations cannot break down sufficiently, and ultimately get sifted out as trash. The waste hauler we have our current contract with cannot accept most "certified compostable" items, including plastics, for this reason. 


Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), ink cartridges for desktop printers, and batteries: Please take these items to the collection area in Gerstenzang. CFLs are considered hazardous, and must NOT go into trash or recycling bins. 

The CFL/ink cartridge/battery waste collection area is located in the entrance of Gerstenzang between Edison-Lecks and Abelson-Bass (not the entrance from Volen plaza).

Waste collection area in G'zang

Photo of Gerstenzang collection area for CFLs, ink cartridges, & batteries

E-waste: Should be taken to the Feldberg collection area, located at the entrance to Feldberg on the lower level facing Fellows Garden. If items are large or you have difficulty taking them to Feldberg, please contact Facilities Services for assistance.

Ink cartridges for large multifunction printers (like those found in office areas): Leave cartridges by the printer and they will be picked up.

For help finding locations to recycle other materials, check out sites such as the Earth 911 recycling guide and RecycleNation.