Waste Reduction & Recycling

Mount Holyoke is committed to recycling and waste reduction and recycling and has a long-standing recycling program. Everyone on campus is expected to participate in this program.

View the complete list of items that can and cannot go into our recycle bins.

Trash and Recycling Bin Locations

In central areas

Central bins for recycling and trash are located on each floor, typically in kitchenettes. Please bring items from your room and place them into the appropriate container.

There are three different bins:

  • one for trash
  • one for recyclable paper
  • one for containers

In student rooms

Deskside recycling bins are available for each student room. At the beginning of the year, these bins are stacked in laundry rooms or other common spaces.

Trash

Each office is equipped with a trash can which will be emptied by housekeeiping staff.

Paper

Each office is equipped with a blue deskside recycling bin for paper. Larger paper recycling bins are located on each floor.

Carboard

Cardboard recycling bins are located in the basement of administrative buildings.  To recycle cardboad in your office, please remove all contents and packaging material, flatten the box, and bring it to the bins.

Bins for mixed paper and containers are located throughout the academic and administrative buildings.

How to Recycle

In residence halls

  • Deskside recycling bins are provided in each room as a convenience for storing recyclables until students have the opportunity to bring them to the recycling closet down the hall.
  • Students are responsible for bringing their own recyclables to the recycling area and placing them into the appropriate container.

In academic and administrative offices

  • Each office is equipped with a blue deskside recycling bin for paper for convenience.
  • Employees are responsible for emptying their own paper recycling bins into the larger paper recycling bins that are typically located on each floor. 

In residence halls

  • Cardboard boxes must be emptied of packaging material, flattened and taken to the cardboard recycling bins in the basement of the residence hall. 
  • Signs are posted in the basement of most residence halls to identify the carboard bins.

In academic and administrative offices

  • Cardboard boxes must be emptied of packaging material, flattened and taken to the cardboard recycling bins, which are located in the basement of most building.

In residence halls

  • Containers should be rinsed.
  • Central bins for containers are located on each floor, typically in kitchenettes. Please bring items from your room and place them into the appropriate container.

In academic and administrative offices and public areas

  • Bins for containers are located in public areas throughout the academic and administrative buildings.

What to include

  • aluminum and tin cans
  • glass bottles and jars (all colors)
  • plastic bottles (all types)
  • milk and juice cartons/boxes
  • plastic yogurt containers
  • aluminum foil
  • clear plastic clamshell containers

View the complete list of items that can and cannot go into our recycle bins.

In residence halls

Laser toner cartridges

  • Empty cartridges should be placed back into the original package, or a brown clasp envelope. 
  • The packaged must be marked "Recycle" and mailed via campus mail to the Facilities Management Stockroom in the Kohler Building.

Inkjet cartridges

  • Many manufacturers supply a postage paid mailer for returning your spent cartridge when a new one is purchased. If a return mailer is provided, it shoudl be used to return the cartridge to the manufacturer for reuse or recycling.
  • If a mailer is not available, inkjet cartridge collection containers are located in the Blanchard mail room and at LITS in the MEWS.

In academic and administrative offices

LaserJet, fax and printer toner cartridges

  • Empty cartridges should be placed back into the original package, or a brown clasp envelope.
  • The package must be marked "Recycle" and sent via campus mail to the Facilities Management Stockroom.

Xerox toner cartidges (models: 3635, 4150, 7435, 7535, and 7545)

  • Empty toner cartridges should be placed into the box the new cartridge came in.
  • The box should be marked "To Be Recycled" and sent via campus mail to Auxiliary Services.
  • Please note, the Xerox 9301 (The ColorCube) does not use standard cartridges and has nothing to be recycled.

Inket cartridges

  • Many manufacturers supply a postage paid mailer for returning your spent cartridge when a new one is purchased. If a return mailer is provided, it shoudl be used to return the cartridge to the manufacturer for reuse or recycling.
  • If a mailer is not available, inkjet cartridge collection containers are located in the Blanchard mail room and at LITS in the MEWS.
  • Empty inkjet cartridges can also be sent via campus mail to the Facilities Management Stockroom.

In residence halls

  • Central bins for battery recycling are located in the laudnry room of each residence hall.
  • Batteries should be taken from student rooms and deposited into the battery collection container.

In academic and administrative offices and public areas

Public collection areas are located

  • on the counters by the elevators in Carr Laboratory
  • near the Info Desk in Blanchard
  • in Dwight near the printing station in the MEWS
  • in the Biology office in Clapp
  • in the Geology/Geography office in Clapp

The proper container should be used according to the type of battery

  • One container is for Alkaline Batteries, (typical size AA, AAA, C, D).
  • The other container is for Mixed Batteries, (Li-ion, Ni-Cad, "Button," Mercury, Silver Oxide, etc. - all types except alkaline and lead-acid).
  • If you have Lead-Acid batteries, please contact Facilities Management (x2012). Please do not put them in these containers and never leave them in public or residential areas or anywhere on campus.

As a reminder, these containers are provided to collect batteries generated from College equipment and students living on campus only.

In residence halls

  • During the school year, a work order should be placed with Facilities Management for pick-up.
  • During move-out, computers or other electronic equipment can be brought to the central recycling area in each residence hall.

In academic and administrative offices

  • MHC "tagged" computer or electronic equipment should be reported to LITS Community Technical Support at x2600. They will make arrangements to move the equipment.
  • For all other electronic equipment, a work order should be placed with Facilities Management for pick-up.

Soft cover books can be recycled with mixed paper.

No hard bound or plastic covers!

Hardcover books not returned to the Bookstore will be collected periodically for donation or recycling. Many books may also be donated to local bookstores or civic organizations or reuse.

  • Foam peanuts should be placed in a cardboard box that is closed securely.
  • The box should be marked  "Foam peanuts - please recycle" and mailed via campus mail to the Facilities Management Stockroom in the Kohler Building.

A collection container for cell phone recycling is located on the mail box counter in Blanchard.

For more information visit EPA's eCycle site for information on recycling cell phones.

In residence halls

  • Recycling bins for compact fluorescent light bulbs are located in the laundry room of each residence hall.
  • To avoid breakaage, bulbs should be placed in the padded bag provided.

In academic and administrative offices

  • Faculty and staff should put in a work order for Facilities Management to pickup their used CFLs.

For more information

See CFL - Use & Disposal.

Contact Environmental Health & Safety at x2529 with any questions.

In residence halls

  • Clolthing swap bins are located in all laundry rooms.  Students may leave or take items from the bins.
  • Only items in the swap bins should be taken out of laundry rooms.
  • At the end of the year, all left over clothing is donated to a local charity.