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Sustainability at ESF
Recycling & Composting

The image featured above is the perfect example of how recycling should NOT look! Recyclables should never be bagged and campus community members are encouraged to "know before they throw" and learn how to properly recycle and compost on campus. Contamination occurs when material that doesn't belong in a recycling or compost bin makes its way there. This degrades the value of the recycling or compost stream and may result in rejection by haulers and processing facilities. 

Zero Waste Overview 

ESF has a robust set of zero waste goals and is making tremendous progress in achieving them. Visit the Zero Waste & Circularity impact area page for more information and to view a detailed set of campus specific trash, recycling and compost data (2018-2022).

Proper Campus Recycling & Composting 

Please pay close attention to signage posted on bins throughout campus and near the Trailhead Café. They will direct you as you place items in the trash, recycling or compost bins.

The dropdown menus below include an explanation of what can be placed in trash, recycling and compost bins on campus:

  • Vegetables

  • Pasta & bread

  • Fruit

  • Meat & fish

  • Tea bags & coffee grounds

  • Paper towels

  • Most Trailhead items:

    • All to go containers (except triangle shaped), unless otherwise noted at the Cafe

    • Forks, knives & spoons

    • All soup cups

    • All drink cups and all lids,  unless otherwise noted at the Cafe

    • Napkins

    • Condiment containers

    • Coffee sleeves

    • Stirrers & straws

Items beyond this list are compostable only if they are BPI certified. If you don't know if an item is BPI certified, please place it in the trash

  • Newspapers

  • Magazines

  • Cardboard

  • Cans

  • Glass jars & bottles

  • Plastic bottles & jugs

  • Milk & juice cartons

  • Stackable plastic dairy tubs

Scroll to the bottom of this page for instructions for recycling specialized items (ex: batteries, shredded paper, ink & toner etc)

  • Styrofoam

  • Wrappers

  • Chip & snack bags

  • Plastic and coated (shiny) paper plates & cups

  • Plastics (see recycling flyer for exceptions)

  • Non -compostable Trailhead items

    • Triangle shaped containers

    • Wrap paper

    • Fry containers

The Onondaga Country Resource Recovery Agency (OCRRA) has a wealth of recycling information, complete with a "How Do I Get Rid Of.." tool to help you decide whether something belongs in the trash, recycling or compost. 

Composting Off Campus

OCRRA offers two industrial compost sites where residents and businesses are able to drop off compostable material. Student club Green Campus Initiative also manages a Compost Cab program that enables students living off campus to compost.

Specialized Recycling
Item Campus Process Recycler
Electronics Departments with electronics to recycle should contact Property Control. Grounds staff then collect electronics for recycling. E-Waste+
Light bulbs Facilities staff gather lightbulbs as they are replaced and coordinate with EHS for recycling Complete Recycling Solutions
Metal Facilities staff place metal in dumpster for pickup by recycler Metallico
Shredded paper Building occupants place shredded paper in plastic bags. Custodial staff picks up. Grounds staff hauls to recycling facility Bodow Recycling
Ink/toner Building occupants place in labelled bins located in each building. Grounds staff collects for recycling. Emaginit
Tires Garage compiles tires from all campuses and recycler picks up from Syracuse campus HTI Recycling
Hardcover books Building occupants alert grounds staff when they have hardcover books ready for recycling Hanna Paper
Batteries Building occupants place in labelled bins located in each building. Grounds staff sorts batteries to prepare for recycling Inmetco Battery
Pallets Grounds crew collects pallets and self-hauls to recycling facility OCRRA