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Materials We Recycle

Single-Stream Recycling lets you use one container for all your basic recyclables. You do not have to separate bottles from cans from paper – these materials can go into one recycle bin to be sorted later by Drexel's recycling vendor. Drexel also recycles larger and heavy cardboard separately. In academic and administrative buildings, place empty cardboard boxes outside offices near hallway collection bins; in residence halls, place empty boxes at designated floor trash locations.

Items that are soiled or filled with foods or liquids cannot be recycled. Empty and do a quick rinse of bottles and containers before recycling to avoid contaminating the entire bin.

Below is a list of items that can and cannot be recycled on campus (Drexel-operated classrooms, offices, common spaces, residence halls, etc.). Additionally, certain specialty items may require a few extra steps to recycle properly.

Paper and Cardboard

  • newspapers, magazines, junk mail, brochures, pamphlets
  • paper: computer, notebook, shredded, glossy (any color)
  • cardboard boxes and paper bags (all sizes)
  • milk or juice cartons or boxes
  • posters and posterboard
  • empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls
  • empty tissue boxes
  • soft cover books
  • Remove all packaging from cardboard boxes.
  • Keep paper and cardboard dry and no food residue.
  • Secure information should be shredded.


  • water / soda / juice bottles and milk jugs
  • plastic yogurt cups
  • soup and food containers (no styrofoam)
  • liquid detergent bottles
  • empty shampoo and soap bottles
  • all plastic bottles and containers with label #1-7 (#6 if hard plastic only)
  • Plastic bags and film can NOT be recycled at Drexel. You can find drop-off locations for this type of plastic at many grocery stores.
  • Food residue should be rinsed and liquids should be emptied.
  • Remove caps and lids when possible.

Glass and Metal

  • clear, brown, green glass food and beverage containers
  • aluminum and steel cans
  • food and soda cans
  • empty aerosol cans
  • Food residue should be rinsed and liquids should be emptied.
  • Remove caps and lids when possible.


  • #6 soft plastic
  • batteries (see specialty items below)
  • broken glass
  • candy and chip wrappers
  • drinking glasses
  • electronics (see specialty items below)
  • food or beverage waste
  • food-soiled materials
  • light bulbs (see specialty items below)
  • napkins, paper towels, tissues
  • needles (contact with hypodermic needles can cause injury)
  • non-paper packing material
  • paper coffee cups and lids
  • plastic utensils
  • plastic toys or sporting goods
  • rubber bands
  • scrap metal
  • solvents, oil and/or chemical containers
  • stickers and labels
  • styrofoam
  • Tupperware
  • waxy or wet cardboard/paper
  • windows, mirrors, ceramics

Specialty Items

Light bulbs, light ballasts, light tubes, computers, tires, motor oil, batteries, industrial sized batteries, furniture and electronic equipment, waste toner and ink cartridges can be recycled but please do not toss them into your classroom/office recycle bin. For details on how to recycle these items, consult the Drexel Recycling Guidelines [PDF]. Pick-up may require submitting a work request.


Please deposit your batteries in designated battery recycling bins on campus.

Cooking Oils

Cooking waste oil is collected from select dining establishments to be converted into bio-fuel: Northside Market (34th and Race Streets), Handschumacher Dining Center (32nd and Chestnut Streets) and the Queen Lane Campus (2900 Queen Lane).

Additional Information

The following materials are provided by Republic Services:

Do's and Don'ts [PDF]

What Happens to My Recycling [PDF]