Where and How to Recycle

What bins are used to recycle? Notre Dame uses blue toters for single-stream recycling materials (empty bottles, paper, cans) and gray carts for cardboard recycling. To ensure your material is properly recycled, it is up to each person to directly place their recyclables into a blue toter or gray cart themselves. Familiarize yourself with the locations of the blue toters and gray carts nearest to you in your building or dorm.


Bin And Cardboard


There’s not a blue toter in your building or office location? Submit a request form to ask that recycling be added to your location. Please note that completion of form does not guarantee receipt of a toter. Requests will be reviewed with the designated building contact for that location.

You’ve identified a recycling toter or cart near you. Now what? When placing empty bottles, cans, and paper in the blue toter, please make sure you remove any plastic bags beforehand. When placing cardboard in the gray cart, please break down the boxes beforehand.

Still have questions about recycling? Please see the FAQ list below.

Recycling FAQ

At Notre Dame, recycling requires a team effort that includes Building Services, the Office of Sustainability and YOU! Here are answers to our most frequently asked questions:

Where can I recycle on campus?

What can I recycle? 

  • Check the A-Z Waste Directory first. Generally we only recycle paper, cans, bottles, and cardboard in blue toters or gray cardboard carts. 
  • Items that are recyclable at Notre Dame may vary from other systems. Every sorting facility is a little different and the demand for certain materials depends on where you live/work.

I have a small desk-side recycling bin in my office or dorm. Is that being recycled?

  • Desk-side bins are not serviced by Building Services staff. Only items placed in the large single-stream blue toters and gray carts are being recycled. If you have a desk-side bin, it is your responsibility to dump those items directly in the toter.

Why aren’t there blue recycling toters in Duncan/LaFortune?

  • There are blue toters in almost all academic/office/residential buildings, but Duncan and LaFortune have high contamination levels due to food service locations, so they are not ideal spaces for recycling at this time.
  • We will continue to monitor this space for future recycling opportunities.

Why can’t I put cardboard in the blue toter?

  • Cardboard, even if flattened, tends to take up too much space. If cardboard is included in the toter, then it might get challenging to add other materials.

How do I recycle batteries?

  • For non-alkaline batteries purchased by the University: please submit a work order request using the recycling tile. Alkaline batteries may be placed in the trash.

Where can I recycle if I live off-campus?

Operational and Administrative Questions

For Any Blue Toter or Gray Cart Issue:

  • Submit a work order request using the recycling tile. 
  • Examples of cart issues resolved via work order include: 
    • Carts missing longer than 2 days
    • Full cart prior to weekly pick-up

What if I have a lot of cardboard to recycle and I don’t have a gray cart? 

When are the toters emptied?

  • Toters are taken to the curb once a week on Tuesday night or early Wednesday morning. They are picked up curbside early Wednesday, and are returned during the day on Wednesday.

Where did the common area bin go? 

  • To address the tricky issue of contamination, the majority of recycling bins are being removed from common areas. Individuals are responsible for taking their recycling to the new centralized toter. Your desk-side bins are still available for this purpose as well. 

How do I get a desk-side bin?