Waste and Recycling


Members of the WPI community are responsible for participating fully in the ongoing efforts to make the University more sustainable by reducing the amount of trash and increasing the percentage of waste that is recycled.  Our progress in achieving these goals will be assessed in an annual report released by WPI's Task Force on Sustainability.


The WPI recycling program handles paper, cardboard, plastics #1-#7 (nearly all), glass, batteries, used electronics and components, lights, ballasts, books, and surplus (bulky items like furniture). For an easy reference guide to the  single stream program see this WPI Single Stream Recycling Guidelines file. For a more in-depth guideline, see this informational mythbusting fact sheet.


Targeted Materials How to Prepare Contaminants

Mixed Paper

  • All office paper
  • Newspaper and magazines
  • Telephone books
  • Manila envelopes
 All clean and dry mixed paper can be deposited in paper recycling bins across campus.
  • Food wrappers
  • Coffee cups
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • Plastics of vinyls
  • Wax paper
Corrugated Cardboard  Cardboard can be left next to paper recycling bins (Do not put cardboard into these containers).
  • Pizza boxes
  • Waxed cardboard
  • Packing materials

Bottles and Cans

  • Water bottles
  • Shampoo, detergent, bleach containers
  • Plastic milk bottles
  • Metal food containers
  • Glass containers

Rinse lightly. Crush to help save space.

Acceptable materials can be brought to collection containers found in all academic and residential campus buildings.

  • Food contaminants
  • Chemical containers

 Small Electronics

  • used cell phones
  • batteries
  • miscellaneous handhelds

Leave intact. Avoid leaking batteries.

Bins are brightly labeled IRN (Integrated Recycling Network) and WPI, available in most buildings

  • Large electronics (goes to Fuller) 

Mixed Electronics

  • Computers
  • Monitors
  • TVs
  • Power supplies
Items can be brought to the Fuller Labs loading dock during normal business hours or a Facilities work order can be submitted.
  • Batteries

Consumer Hazardous Waste

  • Fluorescent light bulbs
  • Batteries
Items should be brought to drop-off locations across campus
  • Broken bulbs
  • Leaking batteries
Chemical Waste The Environmental and Occupational Safety Office should be contacted at 508-831-5216 for more information or to schedule a pick-up.  

If you have any questions or concerns about the disposal of any other materials, contact:

    WPI Department of Facilities, +1-508-831-5500

WPI is committed to adopting new campus initiatives that will encourage and facilitate responsible materials management by members of the WPI community.  The following programs have been implemented at WPI:

If  you see a place that needs recycling bins, please contact green@wpi.edu with your suggestion.


A top priority of WPI's Sustainability Initiative is to reinvigorate the campus recycling program to encourage responsible materials management practices by all WPI community members.  Annually, about 25% of the waste generated by the Institution is recycled.  Efforts are continuously being made to increase the percentage of WPI's waste that is recycled each year. While the push to increase campuswide recycling, as it is currently far below the national average, waste minimization is gradually coming along. There is about 6% less waste per student FTE per year. More details about the waste stream can be found in the Annual Sustainability Reports.


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If you have any questions or concerns about WPI's current Materials Management practices or would like to propose a new initiative, visit the WPI Materials Management Forum. (Only available for WPI community)