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For general information on what can and can't be recycled at Tufts, please refer to our How To Recycle page.

What is mixed recycling?

Single stream or mixed recycling means that all recyclables can be placed into the same bin. Paper, metal, cardboard, and plastic can all be placed into the bin with the blue label that reads "Mixed Recycling". Mixed recycling increases the rate at which individuals recycle because it is easier than ever before!

Can plastic bags be recycled?
Plastic bags cannot be put into recycling bins around campus. Grocery stores will collect any bags that are returned and recycle when once they’ve collected enough.
How does Recycling work?

Recycling is a complex process and only starts when you put your recyclables into the bin. The recyclables are then taken to the Material Recovery Facility where materials are sorted by type. The sorted materials are then sold to producers who will make new products out of the recycled materials. Learn more about the recycling process. 

What is better than recycling?
You know what is better than recycling? Reducing! Reduce the amount of waste that you produce. The five Rs of environmentalism are: Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle, and Rot. Recycling and composting are the last two steps, it is always better to refuse disposable goods and to use what you already have before you recycle.
Can plastic silverware be recycled?
Yes, but it often does not end up getting recycled at the facility since it is small and does not make it through the recycling process. Reusable utensils or compostable utensils are better. Compostable utensils can be disposed of in the compost bin or trash.
Can pizza boxes be recycled?

Non-greasy parts of pizza boxes can be recycled! Separate the greasy side from the non-greasy side and then recycle the non-greasy side. The greasy side of the box can be composted.
Check out this video on how to recycle a pizza box:

What kinds of plastic (hard vs. soft) can I recycle?

All hard plastics can be recycled. To determine if a plastic is hard, drop it and if it makes a noise then it is a hard plastic. Generally, all plastic wrapping and bags cannot be recycled while containers can be.

What should I do if I am not sure if something I recycle at home can be recycled at Tufts?

If you’re not sure what is recyclable at Tufts then first go to the recycling website and if it does not have the information that you’re looking for then you can email all questions to

Why aren't straws recyclable?
Straws are too small to be recycled and don’t make it through the recycling process. They are trash. Do you really need a straw to drink? Try going strawless! Alternatively, you could purchase a reusable straw, or a cup that comes with a built in straw.