Recycling FAQ's

1. What is Single Stream Recycling?

In 2007, Notre Dame switched to single stream recycling. That means recyclables no longer need to be sorted – it all goes in one bin. The recyclables collected on campus are sent to a regional recycling facility, where the different materials are sorted using screens, magnets, and optical scanners.

2. What goes in the recycling bin?

Almost everything is recyclable as long as food and liquids are first dumped into the trash.

Recyclable items on campus include:

3. What does not go in the recycling bin?

*Items with food residue are recyclable. Acceptable items include greasy pizza boxes, un-rinsed yogurt containers, and gently used napkins.

4. Why can I recycle some items on campus that I can’t recycle at home?

Your home city may contract with a waste management operation that has different recycling capabilities. Notre Dame’s recycling is handled by Waste Management, whose state of the art sorting facility in Calumet City, IL is able to handle all of the items listed above.

Commonly confused items include plastic grocery bags and Styrofoam. Both of these items are recyclable on Notre Dame’s campus.

5. Should I remove bottle caps from plastic milk jugs and soda bottles before placing them in the recycling bin?

Removing bottle caps is not necessary and can actually be detrimental to the recycling sorting process. Because bottle caps are so small, once a cap is removed from its bottle it is more likely to be incorrectly sorted. It is best to leave caps attached to bottles, but make sure that the bottle is completely empty before recycling it.

6. Where can I dispose of non-university paint, pesticides, aerosols, products that contain mercury, and tires?

These items can be disposed of through St. Joseph’s County Solid Waste Management. Visit their website for more information about accepted materials and drop-off locations.

7. What if I am missing a recycling bin?

To request a recycling bin, battery bucket, or additional toner cartridge mailers, please email

8. How can I get a sign that explains what to recycle?

To receive recycling signs, email our office.

9. How do I recycle off-campus?