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A mixed recycling waste station, with one landfill bin and one mixed recycling bin

This is a Tufts central waste station, where you would bring your recyclable materials and trash. Each central waste station has a recycling bin and a landfill bin. They should always be together!

The recycling bin should always have a blue UFO-shaped recycling lid. If you see a recycling bin without a lid, please submit a work order to Facilities Services so the lid can be replaced as soon as possible.

Tufts Recycling Basics:

  • Mixed recycling means we have single-stream recycling. All recyclable items should be placed in the mixed recycling bin: paper, cardboard, hard plastic, metal, and glass containers.
  • Plastic items: Make sure you are recycling rigid plastic items like plastic containers. DO NOT recycle filmy plastics. All soft plastics should go in the trash bin or a Trex specialty recycling bin.
  • Paper/cardboard items: If the item is greasy, put it in the compost or trash bin.
  • Do not put any food or liquids in the recycling bin. Make sure all containers are free of food waste before recycling and that all bottles are empty.

For easy-to-read visuals, like the ones previewed below, on what is recyclable at Tufts and according to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) check out our downloadable wall signs page.


Do not contaminate the recycling. Please follow these guidelines:

All paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass items should be placed in the mixed recycling bin:



  • Office paper: including white, colored and glossy paper (even with staples in it)
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Envelopes (even with plastic windows)
  • Phone books
  • Clean paper bags
  • Clean paper plates
Do not recycle:

  • Empty coffee cups with the plastic lid
  • Paper towels
  • Soiled paper plates or to-go boxes with food on or inside
  • Waxy paper plates
  • Tissues
  • Dirty or soiled items
  • Aseptic containers, known as Tetra Paks



  • All corrugated and non-corrugated cardboard boxes (please break down boxes)
  • Tops of pizza boxes, clean of food waste
  • Frozen food paper boxes
  • Paperboard boxes like a cereal box
Do not recycle:

  • Greasy pizza box bottoms
  • Juice/milk cartons



  • Plastic cups without lid or straw
  • All clean hard plastic containers, such as jugs and jars. Wipe or rinse out food waste.
  • Takeout containers
  • Yogurt cups
  • Empty plastic bottles (keep the caps on)
Do not recycle:

  • Plastic utensils (even if they have the recycling symbol)
  • To-go containers covered in food (rinse or wipe to recycle)
  • Filmy plastics (grocery bags, Ziplocs, and plastic wrap even if they have a recycling symbol on them)
  • Foil chip bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Bioplastics
  • Disposable gloves



  • Cans (before recycling, empty out the contents/liquid)
  • Aluminum foil products (including clean aluminum to-go containers)
  • Empty food and beverage containers
Do not recycle:

  • Other metal (e.g. coat hangers, pans, random metal objects).
    These items must be processed separately; submit a service request if you have a large amount of metal to recycle.



  • Jars and bottles only (before recycling, empty out the contents/liquid). Any color of glass is accepted.
Do not recycle:

  • Pyrex
  • Broken glass
  • Lightbulbs (incandescent and LED bulbs go in the trash, submit a service request to dispose of CFLs)
  • All string lights should go in the trash
  • Heat-resistant lab glass
  • Any type of glass that is not a jar or bottle