Through diverse waste diversion and sustainability initiatives we are able to reduce the local and global impact of WFU on the environment. The recycling and waste reduction initiatives that we have on campus allow us to conserve energy and resources and decrease landfill waste.

WFU uses a multi-stream recycling system, which means that cardboard, bottles/cans, and paper are all sorted separately. We use the “Put Waste in its Place” guide to help the WFU community sort their waste correctly. Some of our other waste diversion and recycling programs include; E-waste, Surplus, Deacs Donate, Compost, and Textile recycling.


  • What should I recycle on campus?

    Step 1. Ignore the “recycling numbers” often found on the bottom of a product. Those numbers are meant for employees of a MRF (Materials Recycling Facility).

    Step 2. Follow the “Put Waste in its Place” guide.

  • How can I get a recycling bin or tote?

    Faculty/Staff: Request a desk-side recycling bin via a work order.

    Students living on campus: Green recycling totes are distributed during move-in to all new incoming students. Students are encouraged to keep their recycling totes for the duration of their time at WFU. If you never received one or need a replacement contact Sophie Wimberley (

  • Why should I bother recycling at Wake? Doesn’t the University send everything to the landfill?

    This is a common misconception. Custodians are often seen removing bags of landfill waste and bags of recyclables from receptacles on campus and placing them in the same cart or truck. But it’s all in the color! Trash cans are lined with black bags, while recycling bins are lined with clear or translucent bags. The bags are brought to a centralized location on campus where they are sorted by color, ensuring that they end up going to the correct facility.

    That being said, sorting matters! Contamination (i.e. non-recyclable items) are a major problem plaguing the recycling industry and force a significant amount of recyclable material to be sent to the landfill. The items accepted for recycling vary by area; please make sure you know how to properly “put waste in its place” on campus.

  • I’ve heard that glass from campus isn’t recycled. Why does Wake Forest collect it?

    This is a myth! All glass collected for recycling at Wake Forest is delivered to Waste Management’s nearby material recovery facility (MRF) where it is sorted and stored and later picked up by Strategic Materials and taken to their plant in Wilson, NC for recycling.

  • How do I dispose of old lightbulbs?

    Incandescent bulbs contain no hazardous materials and can be thrown in the trash. Due to their combination of materials, they are not accepted for recycling. Fluorescent tube bulbs should only be handled by maintenance; please submit a work order for any fluorescent bulbs to be picked up from your office and/or to have a lightbulb changed. All other bulbs, including compact fluorescents (CFLs) and LEDs, should be wrapped to prevent breakage and placed in a “Technotrash” or “E-Waste” bin (located in ZSR Library, the Benson Center, Farrell Hall, Greene Hall, and the UCC). To dispose of these bulbs at home, please drop them off at the 3RC EnviroStation. It is against the law to dispose of them in a landfill.

    If purchasing a replacement bulb, remember that LED bulbs are the most energy-efficient and, since they have such a long lifespan, are the most cost-effective as well.

  • How do I contact surplus on short notice?

    Please keep in mind that the Surplus Department assists with many different aspects of campus life. At several different times throughout the year, our department is extremely busy. While we always try to meet the needs of our customers who make short-notice requests, sometimes it is just not possible. If you need particular services executed within one week of your request, please reach out to the Surplus Manager, Alan Winkler (, to verify that we have the availability to meet your needs. Thank you!

  • Are there opportunities for E-Waste recycling?

    Yes! Click here.

Work Order Request

Work Order Requests are processed Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

For immediate assistance or emergencies, contact us immediately at 336.758.4255.