Santa Clara University

sustainability at scu

Waste Diversion Systems

SCU Facilities Department operates the University's recycling, waste, and compost collection program. Items are collected from campus buildings and taken to the Facilities Yard for storage until pick up by haulers. SCU prides itself on diverting waste from landfills by either recycling, composting, reusing, or donating. This is largely due to a comprehensive recycling program that collects plastic, glass, and alumnium containers, cardboard, paper, other metals, electronics, batteries, cell phones, ink cartridges and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Every landfill waste receptacle is paired with a recycling receptacle throughout campus (outside, in academic buildings, and in residence halls).

Starting in 2009, containers, labels, and instructional signs have been replaced throughout campus to standardize the University's waste diversion system. Colors on signs and container labels: Recycling = Blue; Landfill waste = Black or Red; Compost = Green.
cube recycling bin
cube waste bin
Photo courtesy of SCU Office of Sustainability

The University began a pre- and post-consumer compost collection program in May of 2009. This should help further reduce waste sent to landfills. Multiple departments & student organizations promote donation of items and waste diversion during the move-out period at the end of the year.

New initiatives include food waste composting and changes in our office desk-side recycling and waste processes. See Recycling & Waste on the Facilities website for more information.


About recycling & waste at SCU

  • residenceWaste Diversion in SCU Residence Halls

    Recyclable items include aluminum, plastics (#1-7, including film plastics when bundled in a clear plastic bag and knotted at the top), glass, tin, paper, corrugated cardboard, electronic waste, compact fluorescent light bulbs, batteries, and ink cartridges.
    compost collection for residence halls.
  • recycling labelRecycling in SCU Offices

    A new guide is available to help faculty and staff identify materials that can (and cannot) be recycled in SCU offices. Categories include paper, corrugated cardboard, beverage containers, scrap metal, electronic waste, batteries, and ink cartridges.

  • deskside binNew Office Recycling Program

    SCU is adopting a new system to help reduce waste and promote recycling. This system is a combination of easier-to-access recycling and waste bins in building common spaces, an introduction of compost collection capabilities, as well as a new compact recycling & waste desk-side container.

    Every building at SCU will participate in this program. Over 20 buildings have already made the switch, including Loyola Hall, Varsi Hall, and O’Connor Hall. The remaining buildings will join the new system throughout this academic year.

  • pvd11wastebinsWaste Diversion at Events

     Every large campus event has at least one waste recovery station. This includes containers for compost, recycling, and landfill waste.