Guide to Take-Out Packaging

This page is updated frequently. If you have a suggestion for an item to include, please email sustainability@brandeis.edu. For guidance on how to dispose of other types of waste on campus, see our page on choosing the correct bin.

Item Type Directions Bin
Clear plastic cups and containers (e.g. iced coffee cup, fruit cup, salad container)

Read the print to see if it says "compostable" 

If yes, compost

If no, empty, rinse/wipe out and recycle

Plastic lids and straws from cold drinks/cups (e.g. iced coffee, fruit cup) Read the print to see if it says "compostable" 

If yes, compost

If no, trash

Paper cups and lids (e.g. hot coffee)  Read the print to see if it says "compostable" 

If yes, compost

If no, trash

Plastic utensils Read the print to see if it says "compostable"

If yes, compost

If no, trash

Pizza boxes May be composted or recycled if empty

Never recycle with pizza inside

Food or liquid Never put in recycling bin

Trash or compost

Items that are always trash

The following items on campus are always trash - never put them in recycling or compost as they will contaminate the load. Compostable items will be labeled as compostable.

Individually packaged condiments displayed in dining hall

 

Condiment packets such as butter, cream cheese, jam, and ketchup should always go in the trash bin. Besides being contaminated with food, they and other small items fall through the recycler's 2-inch filter and also have little to no value on the plastics market.

 

 

 

 

Black plastic containers in dining hall

Black or other color plastic besides white should always go in the trash bin. Plastic recyclers only want clear or white plastic so the finished recycled plastic material will better take any dyes needed to make new products. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wrapped breakfast bars and cakes displayed in dining hall

Snack wrappers, chip bags, plastic wrap or any other kind of flexible plastic always go in the trash bin. Only dedicated flexible plastic recyclers will take it (such as the recyclers that service grocery store collection bins.)

 

 

 

 

 

Plastic utensilsNon-compostable plastic utensils cannot be recycled. They and other small items fall through the recycler's 2-inch filter and also have little to no value on the plastics market. If you're not sure if the utensils are compostable, please put them in the trash bin.

 

 

Items that may be compostable (check the label)

Most paper take-out containers from Sherman and Lower Usdan are compostable. Most items that are compostable are labeled as such. Always check if there is a label. 

Containers that say "compostable"

 

 

 

 

 

Still not Sure? Ask Recyclopedia!