For Students

Below is a list of materials WMU currently recycles with our Single Stream Recycling system, and some common materials we do not accept. Recycling can go into one container, and no longer needs to be sorted. 

Keep in mind that we collect recycling generated on WMU campuses. Recycling generated off-campus should be redirected to the City of Kalamazoo or your local area. 

Remember, when in doubt, throw it out! To reduce possible contamination, if you are unsure if something is recyclable throw it in the trash. 

What we Recycle


This includes paper from books, magazines, junk mail, folders, etc (staples are okay). Tie shredded paper in a clear plastic bag or collect in a brown paper bag before recycling. 

stack of newspaperbrown paper bagjunk mail in envelopes


Cardboard must be flattened before being recycled. We do not accept pizza boxes, those go in the trash. 

flattened cardboardpizza box with a big red slash through it


Clean tin, aluminium, food cans, steel and lids with or without labels are okay to be recycled. Please rinse containers well. 

red soda cansilver soup can, empty and cleaned

Plastic bottles, jugs and tubs

Plastics containers labeled #1-7 should be rinsed and recycled. This includes plastic water bottles, personal care items, detergent bottles, food tubs and yogurt containers. Labels and plastic caps are okay to be recycled. Please remove any aluminum lids or covers before recycling.  

2-liter soda bottleorange and blue laundry detergent bottlesmall yogurt container 

Glass bottles and jars of any color

Rinse containers well and remove metal lids before recycling. Do not recycle Pyrex or broken glass, these go in the trash. 

brow, green, and clear glass bottlespyrex measuring cup with red slash through itbroken glass cup with red slash through it

Not acceptable items

Although some of these items may be recyclable, our system currently does not accept them. Please consider reusing or donating the following items when possible before placing in the trash. 


Absolutely no packing peanuts can be recycled. They can be reused or donated to local "pack and ship" stores that accept them, otherwise they should be put in the trash. 

electronic item with styrofoam packaging around itpacking peanuts with a big red slash through it

Anything stringy like hoses, wires, chains, cords, clothing, tarps, tubing, and cables must be put in the trash. 

string lights tangled into a ballpile of clothing

Plastic bags 

Plastic shopping bags may be returned to the retailer, otherwise put in the trash. 

clear plastic bags
Take-out/To-go containers 

To-go cups, plates, trays, and containers soiled with food are not recyclable and should be put in the trash. 

styrofoam take out containerChinese take out containerpaper cup

Food waste

Food waste should be composted if possible, otherwise place it in the trash. 

hand scraping food off of a plate with a forkapple coretwo hotdogs in a paper boat with ketchup and mustard

Hazardous waste and Universal waste

Divert hazardous waste on campus to Environmental Health and Safety at WMU and off campus to Kalamazoo County

 white smartphonebatteries lined up in a pyramida variety of lightbulbs