Green Smith
Office of Campus Sustainability
Operational Initiatives
Student sustainability
Alumnae Initiatives
Operational Initiatives

Recycling & COmposting

Deconstruction of buildings includes the intact removal of equipment, such as heating and air-conditioning control and feed hardware, that can be used elsewhere on campus.

Instead of extracting a natural resource to make consumer products that are later discarded, the goal of recycling is to make use of discarded materials or to design products that minimize non-recyclable waste throughout their life cycle.

Extraction and processing of natural resources is not a simple process. For example, extracting trees for paper fiber involves building roads through forests, logging, then transporting, grinding and cooking wood to extract pulp, which produces its own waste. Most of us see only the end product, not the full impact of its production.

There are three primary benefits from recycling:

  1. Less environmental damage and less energy used extracting natural resources
  2. Less energy and fewer resources used in manufacturing
  3. Less need for landfills and waste combustion facilities

Recycling and Composting at Smith

Smith's long history of recycling speaks to its consistent concern about the environmental impact of its operations, even before similar campus programs did not exist. Since 1990, Smith has expanded its recycling program to a robust campus-wide system in every student house, public space and office.

Smith has 11 dining areas in the residential houses. Five of those provide sit-down meals at breakfast, lunch and dinner; the remaining kitchens provide fewer than three meals a day. The college is currently composting both pre- and post-consumer food waste at all full-service kitchens. Smith has a partnership with a local farm for collecting compost. We will continue to expand the composting program at a pace that allows our partner farm to utilize all material collected.

Bottles and Cans

Containers should be rinsed; labels are OK.


Not Recyclable

Aluminum cans
Tin (steel) cans
Glass bottles (all colors)
Plastic bottles (all types)
Milk cartons & juice boxes
Plastic yogurt tubs

Plastic cups
Lids or bottle caps
Plastic bags


Staples are OK.


Not Recyclable

Notebook paper
Computer paper
Junk mail & stationary
Carbonless (NRC) forms
Post-it Notes
Magazines and catalogs

Tissues or paper towels
Paper plates or cups
Brown clasp envelopes
Plastic Tyvek envelopes
Plastic mailing windows
Stick mailing labels
Candy wrappers
Black carbon paper

Corrugated Cardboard

Please remove all contents and packaging material, flatten the box and mark it "recycling." Only currogated cardboard (with the wavy layer in the middle) can be recycled. No pizza boxes or cereal boxes.

Computers and Electronics

College-owned obsolete computer equipment (including computers, monitors, printers, peripherals and media) is managed as standard ITS protocol when upgrading computers in offices.

After erasing all data from the computer, usable computers are donated to local charities as part of the ITS's Town-Gown program. Items that cannot be donated to local charities are picked up from ITS by Physical Plant and shipped to a computer recycling vendor to be recycled for their scrap value.


Do not throw batteries into the trash. Please return batteries to the Environmental Health & Safety Office at Facilities Management.