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Sustainability At RIT

Recycling and Waste Minimization

Recycling and Waste Reduction

Reduce! Reuse! Recycle! Those three simple words (and Jack Johnson song title) are central tenets of sustainability.

What RIT Recycles

Single Stream Recycling

Single Stream Recycling means that all recyclables can be put in the same recycling container - making the choice to recycle even easier.  The recycling is then hauled to a Materials Recovery Facility or MRF where it is sorted by commodity, bailed and shipped to market.

Single Stream Recycling


  • Plastics 1-7:  hard plastic containers including milk jugs, yogurt cups and beverage bottles (caps removed please)
  • Paper:  includes paperboard, cereal boxes, magazines & newspapers, office paper & junk mail, and gable-top cartons such as milk and juice cartons
  • Cardboard: including pizza boxes (remove food residue and wax paper)
  • Glass: all colors, bottles and jars (no broken glass please)
  • Metal: aluminum, tin, and steel, including aerosol cans (empty cans only)



  • Food waste
  • Caps & lids
  • Plastic bags
  • Wrappers
  • Hazardous materials
  • Styrofoam containers and packaging
  • Wood
  • Used tissues or paper towels


There are now two drop-off locations for used hearing aid and cochlear implant batteries! They are:

  • Hearing Aid Shop (LBJ – Room 3130)
  • Student Life Team (CSD/SDC – Room 1200)

All other batteries except alkaline (AAA, AA, C, D, 6V, 9V) are also accepted for recycling.  To recycle used batteries call the Department of Environmental Health and Safety at 475-2043.

Bottle Return Location

In addition to the single stream recycling available on campus, Dining Services operates an on-campus bottle return location to allow students to easily recycle their beverage bottles and receive their 5 cents deposit back.

Cell Phones, Ink and Toner Cartridges

RIT has partnered up with Imagine It to recycle all ink and toner cartridges from printers, copiers, and fax machines. Bins have been placed though out campus and collections take place when scheduled every Thursday. If the bin in your department is full please email at or call RIT Recycling at 585-475-7827 to schedule a pickup. This program helps support a local high school's Recycling Program as well as RIT Recycling,


R3 @ RIT

SEAL (Student Environmental Action League) in partnership with FMS Recycling holds E-waste Recycling Days throughout the year, where you can drop off your electronic waste in the lobby of the SAU to be recycled. If you have electronic waste, please hang on to it until the next E-waste Recycling Day. Check SEAL’s website for scheduling. If collection is required prior to E-waste Recycling Day, contact the recycling department to schedule a pick-up at or call RIT Recycling at 585-475-7827.


Furniture is redistributed throughout campus through the RIT Surplus Property Program.  Pieces that are no longer needed on campus are made available for sale first to RIT community members and later to off campus individuals or agencies.  More

Office Supplies

RITchie's List is an online tool for faculty and staff to promote a free office supply exchange within Rochester Institute of Technology.  There is also a wish list that enables users to post specific items they are looking for.  More



RecycleMania is a 10-week nationwide competition between colleges and universities to promote waste reduction and recycling activities to their campus communities. Schools report recycling and trash data which are ranked according to various categories.  More

Waste Audits

Every year students in the Student Environmental Action League (SEAL) audit the waste from select buildings on campus.  The audits are conducted at the Tiger Statue, a high traffic area on campus, which allows students, faculty and staff to learn from the event.  SEAL students sort out and measure (weight and volume) the amount of recyclable material that was thrown in the trash.  That data collected from these audits provides a snapshot of recycling behavior at the building level.  It also helps quantify the potential lost revenue from recycling that was put in the trash and the increased cost of materials being sent to the landfill.  This year, NTID got involved too and has been working to improve their recycling rates.

More Information

Please contact Environmental Health & Safety at 585-475-2040 to properly dispose of Hazardous and Universal Waste.

For more information about recycling at RIT contact the Recycling Department at or 585-475-7827

R3 @ RIT

The mission of the Recycling Department is to actively promote proper waste management through Recycling and Waste Minimization. They do this by developing solutions, initiatives, and educational programs that encourage sustainable behavior throughout the University in order to facilitate change in our Global community.