Recycling for New Students

Welcome to Mount Holyoke College

Mount Holyoke is committed to recycling and waste reduction and has a decades old award-winning recycling program. While here on campus you will be expected to participate in this program.

Don't worry. You don't need to know everything right away. However while you are settling in and finding your way around, there are a couple of things we would like you to note:

  • There are a couple recycling logistics to deal with right away (e.g., where to recycle your cardboard moving boxes, where the recycling sites are in your hall, and how to get a recycling bin for your room). The notes below can guide you through those initial steps.
  • Also, please note that recycling here at Mount Holyoke may be a little different than how you recycle back home.
  • We have separate bins for mixed paper, commingled bottles & cans, and cardboard.
  • Some of the specific items we recycle may be a little different than you are used to. All of our bins are labeled and there is a list of what can and cannot be recycled on the recycling web site. If you are ever confused and need more info, please contact the ECO-Reps and they can answer any questions for you.

How to Recycle

STEP 1: What to do with your cardboard boxes

Chances are that much of the stuff you brought with you and most of the stuff you bought for your room when you got here came packed in a cardboard box. That’s a lot of empty cardboard boxes that you probably want out of your room.

Once you are done unpacking, please remove all packaging materials, flatten the empty boxes, and bring the boxes down to the central trash & recycling room in the basement of your residence hall.


There is a limited amount of student storage, so you may want to hold onto a box or two for anything you are planning to store. However, before storing anything, please check campus policies regarding the storage rooms.

STEP 2: Recycling in your residence hall

Detailed information about the recycling program in the residence halls is available on the Mount Holyoke "Recycling" web site.

Please note that if you want a deskside recycling bin to store items in your room (until you can take them to the central bins), those deskside bins should be available in the kitchenette on each floor of your hall. If you have any difficulty finding those bins, please ask your housekeeper.

For information about recycling in public areas of the campus.

STEP 3: Composting and Reducing Food Waste

Mount Holyoke has a campus-wide composting program in the dining halls, in Blanchard, and at campus events.

Other Tips for Living Green at Mount Holyoke.