Santa Clara University


Waste Diversion in Residence Halls

Operations/Waste/Residence Halls Banner

These guideline identify materials that can be residence hall's external waste/recycling area.


These items should be composted by placing in a residence hall's external waste/recycling area.

  • Leftover food 
  • Food-soiled paper & cardboard (pizza boxes)
  • Dining Services to-go
  • Coffee grounds and tea bags
  • Plants
  • Paper towels

Personal Compost Pail

Residents can acquire a personal compost pail to use in their room during the school year. Pails are distributed the first two weeks of school at information sessions. Contact to find out when information sessions will occur near your residence hall.


These items should be recycled by placing in a residence hall's external waste/recycling area, or at a residence hall's service desk.

Mixed Recycling

  • Plastic: all types. Please empty and rinse as appropriate. 
  • Thin-film plastic: plastic bags (dry cleaning, bread, grocery) and plastic wrap (cellophane, shrink wrap). Please bundle in a clear bag and knot the top.
  • Metal
  • Glass
  • Paper: white/colored paper, newspaper, magazine, paperboard boxes, photographs. Staples and tape are OK.
  • Milk cartons


  • Corrugated cardboard, including CLEAN pizza box tops. Please flatten all boxes. Please place in the gray cart in the residence hall's external waste area.

Universal Waste

  • Batteries, cell phones, cords, light bulbs, ink cartridges, CD/DVDs. Please recycle at service desk containers.

Electronic Waste (E-Waste)

  • Items with an electric cord or battery, such as a lamp, TV, microwave, or personal fan. Please place in residence hall external waste area, near the "e-waste" sign along the wall. 

Reusable Items 

Items that can be reused should be donated or re-purposed. 

Swap with a friend, or donate to the Swap for Good or during Move-Out. 

  • Clothing (still wearable) 
  • Shoes (still wearable)
  • Small housewares
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Contact Us

Center for Sustainability
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053