Recycling Basics

Not sure if you can recycle those solo cups or toss packing peanuts in with your cardboard? Search in the Recyclopedia below or visit “What Can I Recycle?” in the Drill Deeper column to your left.


The following are some of BU’s recycling programs you can participate in…

Waste Walk Through Program

We’re here to make recycling easy. With our Waste Walk Through program, you can request an in-person evaluation of your office or department by a BU Sustainability representative. We will recommend changes to your current trash and recycling bin setup to make recycling easier, taking into account your unique needs and concerns. Fill out this form to request a Waste Walk Through!

Cardboard Recycling at Move-In

Every year at move-in there are 30 designated recycling areas at the residence halls across campus to facilitate recycling of moving boxes and materials. This practice increases Boston University’s waste diversion rate and teaches positive recycling practices with new and returning students. Cardboard Recycling has successfully diverted 220 tons of recycling since 2012, with 47 tons recycled in 2018.

Shredding Day with IS&T

Every semester, BU Sustainability and IS&T work together to collect unwanted e-waste, paper, batteries, lightbulbs, toners and more from the Boston University community to facilitate secure disposal and promote universal waste recycling.

Trash Buddy Program

With their separate trash/recycle bin design and easy desk-side access, Trash Buddies reduce recycling contamination and personal trash generation. Trash Buddies were rolled out in offices across campus in 2013 to increase Boston University’s recycling rate, and are still added to offices through the Waste Walk Through program today.

Big Belly Solar Compactors

Across campus, Boston University community members can use Big Belly solar compactors to properly sort their waste into trash and single-stream recycling bins. These bins are 100% solar-powered compactors that take five times the capacity of traditional trash bins. By setting up trash and recycling receptacles together in one station, Boston University is making recycling more accessible to the public. Boston University community members play an important role in ensuring that they follow proper recycling practices to prevent contamination of the single-stream bin.