Frequently Asked Questions

Click on one of the questions below to show and hide the answer!

General Questions:

  • Your department is responsible for providing you with trash bins. Tufts Recycles! currently only provides recycling bins.
  • Email us or submit a bin request. Make sure to let us know what size and what type you need. Click here for more details.
  • No, recycling is part of Tufts’ custodial contract. The custodians are trained regularly in proper recycling. The only time that containers or paper are not recycled is if the recyclables have been too contaminated with trash. Custodians are not obligated to sort recyclables!
    Although we all try to do our best, there is always the possibility that a custodian is just not recycling properly. If you feel that is the case, approach them and ask them directly about recycling. Please be friendly and respectful! If you still have a problem, call us at the recycling hotline and leave us the exact information: x7-3947 or email us. We will follow-up and help remedy the situation.
  • All large bins are lined with plastic bags. This includes both the bottles & cans and the paper recycling bins. The liners keep the bins clean and help the custodians transport the trash and the recyclables.
    Only the small blue (or gray) recycling bins in your office are not supposed to have a plastic liner in them.
    The medium-sized bins do have a plastic liner as well. While they are marked with a recycling logo, they are often mistakenly used for trash. We are in the process of correcting this by relabeling these bins.
  • Medford and Somerville both have curbside recycling programs. Your house or apartment can easily become involved with these programs. Please click below for more information:
    Recycling at off-campus houses in Medford
    Recycling at off-campus houses in Somerville
    You can also visit the websites of the cities of Medford or Somerville for more detailed information.
    NOTE: If you live off-campus, you cannot dump your trash into Tufts University waste bins or dumpsters. Any students who are caught dumping trash will be subject to disciplinary action.
  • Some Greek houses are already recycling, so first check with the other members to see if there is already a system in place. If your Greek house has not started recycling and you would like to, or if you have general questions about recycling procedures, please email us.
  • The recycling materials are sent to Save That Stuff inc., where they are then shipped to buyers who recycle the material to make new products. Visit the Save That Stuff website to find out more details.
  • Our campus bookstore is recently under new management, and they are very concerned with environmental responsibility. They currently sell many recycled products and are working to expand the selection.
  • 100% recycled paper is more expensive, but many departments at Tufts buy at least 30% recycled paper. The Office of Sustainability is working to advance this goal.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes and place them behind or next to the recycling bins in the dormitories.
  • Unfortunately, these cannot always be recycled because the grease from the pizza contaminates the material. However, if the top of the pizza box isn’t greasy, you can rip it off and put it in the paper recycling bin. Greasy parts must be placed in the trash. Please compact them as much as possible.
  • Yes, but try to ensure that all bottles are empty before placing them in the bins.
  • It is not necessary to rinse containers out other than milk and beer containers. Please rinse milk and beer bottles before placing them in the recycling bin; if not, these containers will emit unpleasant odors.
  • Yes, please place them in the battery buckets. Toner bottles are also recyclable. Put them in one of the bottles & cans bins.
  • Non-hazardous plastics can be recycled with other commingled containers. Tufts Recycles! is not familiar with all the products used in campus laboratories, but a good guideline is to compare products to those used in your home. Almost all home cleaning product containers are recyclable, as long as they are completely empty. Recycling is partially processed by humans (see photo). Do not recycle anything that may put someone else’s health in danger!
  • Tufts Recycles! does not coordinate electronic media recycling but there are services available to departments who wish to use them. Green Disk recycles virtually all types of electronic media.
  • To arrange this service, please contact Pascual Laguerra 603-595-2033 of Cintas Document Shredding and Information Destruction.
  • Although marked with a recycling symbol, Styrofoam is not a material we recycle at Tufts. Some Mail Boxes, Etc. and UPS stores will accept used packing peanuts for reuse.

  • Questions pertaining to university-owned furniture:

  • In some cases, yes. It is a good idea to first speak with your department’s Budget and Fiscal Officer, as (s)he has the ultimate say. Please contact Dawn Quirk 6-x73810 for more information.
  • No. We are only able to recycle or reuse furniture unwanted by any Tufts department.
  • Pick-up of university-owned furniture can be arranged by sending a fee-based Inter Departmental Requisition to Facilities Services.
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