The source for updates on campus environmental initiatives, events, and action.

Today a daily editor of Bwog contacted the EcoReps asking for clarification of the Columbia recycling program, after which it occurred to me that it might be a source of confusion for many. The Columbia University program is different from both the city guidelines and the Barnard College system, so things can get a little messy -literally and figuratively - unless you know the rules.

This information can all be found on the Office of Environmental Stewardship's website, but it seems worth reiterating here.

Paper and Cardboard 


  • White, colored and glossy paper (Staples OK, but not spiral bindings.)
  • Mail and envelopes
  • Wrapping paper (Remove ribbon and tape.)
  • Smooth cardboard (Shoe boxes, tubes from paper towel and toilet paper rolls, cardboard from product packaging. For food boxes, remove inside and outside plastic wrappers.)
  • Paper bags
  • Cardboard egg cartons and trays
  • Newspapers, magazines and catalogs
  • Phone books, soft-cover books (Paperbacks, comic books, etc.)  
  • Corrugated cardboard (If flattened boxes are large, place them next to the recycling bin.) 
Bottles and Cans

  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Metal cans (Tuna cans, empty aerosol cans, empty and dried-out paint cans with lids removed, for example.)
  • Aluminum foil wrap and trays
  • Household metal (Wire coat hangers, pots, pans, for example.)
  • Plastic bottles and jugs
  • Beverage cartons and drink boxes (Milk and juice.)
Electronics/Batteries can be recycled at the Lerner Electronics drop-off on the First Floor of Lerner across from the main desk. 


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