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A-Z Guide



Glass, Plastics, and Metal

Bottles
Bottles

Bottles - See "Glass" or "Plastic"








Cans
Cans

Cans - See "Metal"








Glass
Glass

Glass bottles and other NON-broken glass, free of hazardous materials, can be recycled in Glass/Plastic/Metal bins throughout campus.

Not included: Light bulbs, thermometers, and other glass items containing hazardous materials.



Metal
Scrap Metal

Aluminum and steel cans can be recycled in all single-stream and Glass/Plastic/Metal bins.  You can also recycle CLEAN aluminum foil; just ball it up and throw it in.

Scrap metal can only be recycled by submitting a request to Physical Plant.


Plastics
Plastics

Plastics numbered 1-7 can be recycled in all Glass/Plastic/Metal containers on campus. All you need to do is check the recycling label, typically found on the bottom of the item. You can read more about these codes by checking out our Additional Resources.

Not included:

  • Compostable / Biodegradable plastic cups and other wares are not traditional plastic and are not recyclable except through composting. You can identify these cups by looking for a "PLA" on the under side of the item. If you do not have access to a compost drop-off, plastic cups are generally a better choice than compostable cups.
  • Plastic bags - #4s but see "Plastic Films"
  • Plastic wrap - #7 but not currently recyclable.
  • Styrofoam - # 6s but see "Plastic Foams"


Paper

 
Cardboard
Cardboard

Cardboard boxes can be recycled by breaking the box down (removing tape and flattening) and placing behind Glass/Plastic/Metal or paper bins. If you have more than a few boxes, you can take them to drop off locations behind the Bookstore or to the Coming Street side of Stern Center. You can also submit a request to Physical Plant to arrange a pick-up for your cardboard. Please provide plenty of notice so that the recycling crew can schedule accordingly.



Paper
Paper

Mixed paper and paperboard can be recycled in paper bins around campus. This includes ALL types of paper: notebook paper, paperboard from food containers, junk mail, envelopes with and without windows, phone books, magazines, etc.

Cardboard can be included with paper where indicated but is usually collected separately by the Physical Plant Recycling Shop. See "Cardboard Boxes" for more details.





Miscellaneous

Aerosol Cans
Aerosol Can

Aerosol cans can be recycled in Glass/Plastic/Metal bins all around campus.








Batteries
Batteries

Batteries of all types can be recycled on campus.  Find the location closest to you by typing "batteries" into the "Name of Waste Item" field on the Interactive Map.

Rechargeable and non-rechargeable batteries contain economically valuable, yet potentially hazardous, materials. The lead acid batteries in your automobile are so hazardous that they are even banned from being disposed of in landfills.

If you are unable to access the battery for removal, as is the case for many electronic devices, see "Electronics."




Cell Phones
Cellphones

Cell phones See "Electronics" for more details. You can recycle cell phones at a number of locations around campus. To find a location close to you, type "cell phones" into the "Name of Waste Item" field on the Interactive Map.



Compost
Compost

Compostable materials, comprise a major portion of campus waste. Unfortunately there is currently no centralized composting process on campus, but our major dining facilities do compost food scraps.

The College is currently exploring options to continue expanding composting across campus. Below are the composting and recycling services currently provided by our dining halls:

  • Liberty Street Fresh Foods Company: Pre- and post-consumer
  • City Bistro: Pre- and post-consumer
  • Stern Center Food Court: Pre-consumer 
  • Chick-fil-A: Pre-consumer
  • Einstein Bros. Bagels: Pre-consumer
  • Catering: Pre-consumer & some post-consumer (connect with Dining Services to coordinate)

Interested in Composting on your own? The Grounds Department is piloting an office compost program to compost food scraps on campus. Contact them for more information. 


Electronics
E-Waste

Electronic waste (e-waste) includes TV's, computers, and other electronic items, which contain valuable and potentially hazardous materials. ALL e-waste is banned from disposal in landfills in the state of South Carolina.

There are two types of e-waste you will encounter: State-owned e-waste (computers, printers, etc that are tagged as state property and owned by the College) and consumer e-waste (including your personal cell phones, chargers, printers, etc.). All state property that is tagged must be returned to Surplus and is then sent to an off-campus vendor to be recycled. Please contact Computer Services for details at 843.953.3375 or helpdesk@cofc.edu.

E-waste bins designed for SMALL electronics were installed in several buildings in February, 2014 to collect your small e-waste items. If an item does not fit into the bin, PLEASE CONTACT THE OFFICE OF SUSTAINABILITY for a pick-up. For your e-waste from home, visit Charleston County's site for details on where to drop off larger items.


Light Bulbs
Lightbulb

Incandescent light bulbs contain lead and other toxins and should not be thrown in the landfill. If these bulbs are instaleld at the College, contact Physical Plant. If they are your bulbs from home, you can take them to a Batteries Plus location near you.

LED bulbs contain lead and other toxins and should not be thrown in the landfill.  If these bulbs are installed at the College, contact Physical Plant. If they are your bulbs from home, you can take them to a Batteries Plus location near you.

Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs contain mercury and are BANNED from landfills. If the bulbs are installed at the College, contact Physical Plant. If the bulb is broken, contact Environmental Health and Safety at (843)953-1029. We are working on creating a pick-up site on campus for your bulbs from home but for now you can take your used bulbs Charleston County Recycling Facilities that accept Household Hazardous Waste.



Plastic Films
Plastic Film

Plastic shopping bags and films will jam the sorting machinery at the recycling facility and SHOULD NOT be included in any recycling. They are, however, recyclable at grocery stores and other major shopping centers in Charleston. Don't know of one near you? Check out this site to find one in your area.









Plastic Foams
Polystyrene

Plastic foams, such as the common expanded #6 polystyrene, are very difficult to recycle and made of hazardous compounds that are released when recycled or decomposed, see this article for more information. We STRONGLY recommend avoiding this material.

If you do have to use it your next best bet is to try to reuse it. Publix has drop offs at many of their stores to take back foam with a focus on egg cartons. If you are trying to reuse packing peanuts you can return them to some Pak Mail and UPS Stores or call the packing peanut hotline at 800-828-2214 to be put in contact with a local vendor that will accept them.

Finally, because most recycling is shipped to foreign countries that have far less stringent environmental and health & safety regulations to be processed, we recommend if you can't re-use it then you throw it away to dispose of it. The United States has one of the more stringent policies on landfills and the effects they have on surrounding areas and it is more likely that the hazardous chemicals coming from foam breakdown will be contained in a safe way here than if recycled in a foreign country.