Go to Content
Columbia College Chicago
Recycling FAQ
Print this PageEmail this Page

Recycling FAQ


Why recycle?

Each year, an average of 350 million beverage containers are landfilled, incinerated or littered every day in the US. Americans also throw out almost 180,000 tons of batterie every year.

In 2006, Americans threw out just under three million tons of household electronics. This so-called e-waste is the fastest-growing part of the municipal waste stream.

Why add to the wastefulness when you can actively make a difference?

(For more info go to Facts About Recycling) 

Back to top.

How can I help?
You can recycle any of the materials listed on our campus recycling page in designated bins.

Contaminated materials cannot be recycled. Please clean out any plastic, glass or aluminum containers before recycling them. Do not throw food waste in with recyclables. Do not mix recycled materials.

Contact the Recycling Program if you want to help with recycling efforts on campus. And to help even further, check the links below for information on recycling in your own community.

Back to top.


Where are recycling containers located?                  

There are multiple recycling containers on every floor throughout campus. They are all labeled-green for plastic/glass/aluminum and blue for paper products. Battery recycling bins are located in the lobbies of main buildings. 

Back to top.


How can I get recycling in my office/department?

The recycling program has limited supplies. To receive a recycling bin for collection materials, we would first have to assess the output in your area before ordering or delivering more containers.

Back to top.


Who is recycling the paper in my desk-side box?                  

The college's contracted vendor Hardvard Recycling staff is collected all recyclable material from your desk-side bins. The desk-side program is geared towards making it easier for people to recycling in their office. The Harvard staff will empty these boxes after office hours.  Make sure your box is placed visibly so it can be emptied. Please contact us with any questions or comments about this program.

We have a limited amount of desk-side recycling bins so contact us if you are in need of a box. 

Back to top.


When does my recycling get emptied?                       

Collection of recycling is managed by Harvard our contracted cleaning staff. It is being collected after office hours begining as early as 4pm.

A recycling collection schedule per building is being developed. If there is a problem with the pick-ups, please contact us for assistance.

Back to top.


What about shredded paper?

View our Recycling on Campus link for our procedures.

Back to top.


How do I know what I recycle is actually being recycled?
The Recycling Program staff collects, sorts, and packages a vareity of materials for recycling.

Here are the companies we employ for recycling our material: Paper/Plastic/Glass/Aluminum:
Veolia Environmental Services
Batteries: Retrofit
Flourescent Light Bulbs: Everlights
TechnoTrash: Green Disk
Computers/Electronics: Vintage Tech Recyclers
Plastic Bags: Antek Madison
Document Shredding Service : Document Destruction Company
Books: Better World Books
Hazardous Waste Disposal: R3 Environmental
Composting: Resource Center

Back to top.


What do the numbers on plastic bottles mean?

Polyethylene Terephthalate (PETE/PET #1)
High Density Polyethylene (HDPE #2)
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC #3)
Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE #4)
Polypropylene (PP #5)
Polystyrene (PS #6)
Other (#7)

We recycle all types of plastic except #6, or it's most common form StyroFoam. That is the only type of plastic not accepted in many recycling collections across the country. The most common plastics are #1 and 2, used in beverage containers. Be conscious, please look before you recycle.

Back to top.


Where can I find information regarding recycling programs in Chicago?

The Chicago Recycling Coalition is an independent organization that offers information on recycling or reusing a mutlitude of products at locations throughout Chicago, suburban, and state facilities. You can also visit Blue Carts Chicago for more information about that program.

Back to top.


Recycling Resources on the Web

College and University Recycling Coalition
Illinois Student Environmental Coalition (ISEC)
Illinois Recycling Association
The Story Of Stuff (documentary)
The Secret Life (a series of short films on the lifecycle of product recycling)

Back to top.