How It Works


SPU Recycle provides recycle and compost collection infrastructure and service to every building on campus.


For most buildings, this means that each individual space (whether an empoyee workstation or residence hall room) is provided with a recycle bin that can be emptied into a central collection bin serviced by student employees. Compost bins are located in central areas where food is prepared or consumed (i.e. break rooms, floor lounges, etc.).


Our program is continually working to increase the percentage of waste SPU diverts from the landfill though infrastructure improvements and education.


Where Does It Go?

The following provides a brief summary of where common items should be sorted.  All recyclable items (paper, plastic, metal, and glass) can be deposited in any recycle container on campus--no sorting necessary.

To determine if additional items are recyclable or can be composted, use Seattle Public Utilities' "Look It Up" feature. Our compost hauler, Cedar Grove, also has a list of approved compostable packaging.


Departmental Efforts

Various departments have worked to integrate waste diversion principles into their operations.  Here are some examples:


  • Composting: Food waste is collected for composting at all food service locations on campus. The University's Grounds crew collects yard waste for composting as part of their operations.
  • Auto Shop: Oil, oil filters, antifreeze, and vehicle batteries from the University's motor pool are recycled or turned in for refinement/recharging and reuse.
  • Building Maintenance: University-owned appliances are turned in for recycling or reuse, while metals (iron, copper, brass, aluminum, stainless steel, etc.) are collected to be refined and turned back into raw form for resale.
  • Computer Equipment: University-owned computers are donated or recycled at the end of their life cycle.
  • Construction: The University makes a concerted effort to recycle construction and demolition waste as well as everyday materials. For example, construction of the Cremona Classroom Building, completed in 2011, achieved a 93% landfill diversion rate.


For information on how to recycle additional miscellaneous items, such as printers or non-University owned furniture, please refer to the Solutions section of this site.