Does this item have to be thrown away or can it be recycled?

Recycling can vary from town to town, city to city, state to state, etc. depending on what sort of Recycling Facilities are available in an area. The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling at WFU provides as many recycling services as is environmentally and economically possible. When we can’t provide a service here on campus, we try to provide information on recycling resources off campus and the next best solution. Check out our Surplus Program for re-using and re-purposing items on campus. Also, check out the extended list of “What to Recycle” poster.


Where does Wake Forest’s recycling go?

There are many different outlets where recycling is taken, depending on the items being recycled or re-purposed. Most would be surprised to learn of all the different streams of waste, and recycling that we divert from the landfill. There are many items from facilities and various programs on campus that are recycled, re-purposed or in some way diverted from the landfill. For an extensive list of these items and the amounts please see here (link to metrics tables on main webpage). The bulk of “typical” recycling on campus (paper, cans, glass, bottles, cardboard, etc.) is taken to our local Recycle America facility in Winston Salem.


How can I get involved in Waste Reduction and Recycling at WFU?

There are many practices that can be adopted at WFU to reduce your personal stream of waste on campus. You can participate in our re-usable container program for your meals on campus, be a part of the “Go Deacs, Go Green” movement and recycle your drink containers from tailgating at football games, separate your recycling and take advantage of the various recycling containers on campus, double side print and make use of electronic data sharing vs. hard copy, think about your purchasing decisions and buy items that last longer and use less packaging, etc. Americans throws away an average of 4.5 lbs. of trash per day (Environmental Protection Agency). There are endless possibilities to reduce your waste beyond simply recycling. Being conscious and aware of your personal impact can have a large impact on our overall waste reduction goals for our campus, our community and beyond.


What do I do with furniture and office accessories that I no longer need? What about broken pieces or items that have reached the end of their useful life?

Please go to our Surplus Property website to see if your items can be picked up and re-purposed in our Surplus program. For items that are not accepted by surplus, please ask the Surplus office ( 336.251.8635) what to do with these items. The Surplus Office will decide when items and furniture have reached the end of their useful life on campus. When items are broken or no longer working, please contact Customer Service (x4255) and put in a work order to have these items removed. All electronic equipment needs to be cleared by IS before being picked up.


What do I do with unwanted recycling and trash when purging my office or room?

For non-routine pickups of recycling or waste, please call customer service (x4255) to schedule a pick-up with the waste and recycling team.


Where can I recycle my batteries on campus?

Rechargeable batteries, including cell phone batteries, can be recycled in the E-waste bins in ZSR Library and Farrell Hall bottom levels. As you may know, AAA-D batteries no longer contain Mercury and are therefore no longer considered Universal Waste. Most municipalities and counties advise landfilling those types of batteries.

Some divisions on campus have been collecting AAA-D batteries for “recycling” (technically they’re downcycled and components are recycled). The nearest facility that takes them is in Florida. We are currently in the process of calculating the effects (fuel, emissions, etc.) associated with shipping the batteries away for recycling, versus landfilling them. So far, the relative impact of those batteries going into the trash, compared to the impact of the amounts of other recyclable waste streams (like paper) going into the trash, is negligible. We will certainly keep you updated as we research this disposal question. You may hold onto the batteries for now, in case we come up with a more sustainable solution than putting them into the trash (Office of Sustainability).


Recycling Myth: Does recycling really get recycled or does it end up in the trash?

The Sustainability office has provided a thorough explanation about this recycling myth. Please go here for a full explanation: