How to Ace the RecycleMania Competition!

by Lauren Ferrucci

As you may know, the RecycleMania competition has officially begun. Tufts dorms and off-campus houses are competing to see who has the best recycling rates.  Over the next few weeks, Tufts Recycles! interns will be walking through Tufts dorms grading recycling efforts. (Don’t be afraid to say hi and ask us questions, we love talking about recycling!)

As the competition heats up, we want to make sure you are fully prepared for every recycling crossroad you may face. Here are some helpful hints and tips about the trickiest things that can and can’t be recycled at Tufts.

  • Pizza boxes can be recycled only if they are not oily and dirty. Usually this means that you can tear off the lid and drop it in the paper recycling bin. Make sure not to contaminate the recycling with the oily bottom though.
  • Paper coffee cups can be recycled. The fuzzy cups, however, can’t be recycled. Make sure to separate the plastic lid and put it in the plastic recycling container.
  • Aluminum foil can be recycled in the plastic recycling container as long as it is clean.
  • Plastic utensils can be recycled! They go in the plastic recycling bin. Just make sure they are clean.
  • Tissues and Napkins cannot be recycled. We know, it’s unfortunate! Try to use cloth whenever possible.
  • Plastic shopping bags cannot be recycled with your other plastic recycleables! Use reusable shopping bags whenever possible instead.
  • Batteries can be recycled (except for liquid and gel acid batteries). All around campus there are special containers for recycling batteries. Put a piece of tape over the ends of the batteries to help prevent fire hazards.
  • Notebooks can be recycled, they are considered paper. Don’t worry about the spiral.

So there you have it! Explanations about some of the most commonly questioned recyclable (and non-recyclable) materials. Now you are all set to help your dorm win RecycleMania! Happy recycling!

Still have questions about the nitty gritty details of other tricky materials? Send an email to