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Waste Disposal Guide

As a reminder, always ask yourself first: can I avoid producing waste? We encourage you to challenge yourself to keep this question in mind when buying products, planning events, or going about other daily activities!

When you do have waste, we can help you place it in the correct stream. Our goal is to divert as much waste away from incineration as possible, and instead into compost or, alternatively, recycling.

Use our alphabetized links or CTRL+F (on a PC) or ⌘F (on a Mac) to search our list of items and find out how to dispose of these commonly used products. We are working to make this list as comprehensive and useful as we can. Don't see a particular item listed below? Reach out and let us know by emailing the Zero Waste Working Group at


Electronic Waste Disposal Guide:

  • INK cartridges should be deposited in the repository in Shane lounge, on the first floor Parrish.
  • BATTERIES should be deposited in the repository in Shane lounge, on the first floor of Parrish.
  • Smaller functioning ELECTRONICS can be donated to the Worthmore free store year-round.
  • OTHER ELECTRONICS and scrap metal will need to be collected by EVS, please contact and
  • NEW!  Small non-functioning electronics appliances are now being specially collected!  A new drop off bin has been located at the West Fieldhouse Lane Parking lot to collect your smaller items. If your items are larger and will not fit within the bin please email Do not leave items outside the bin. 
More Information on Non-Functioning Electronics

Functioning electronics can be donated to Worthmore. If you have non-functioning electronics (DVD players, computer monitors, printers), appliances (dorm fridge, space heaters), electronic cables, or scrap metal, the College will collect and store them for special recycling. Contact your building/department representative to have it picked up or for drop-off locations. Materials will be picked up from campus for special recycling approximately two times per year. 

Please do not bring used equipment to campus from home. Local e-waste recycling services can be found below.


Department/Building E-Waste Representatives
  • EVS/Maintenance - Chip Proctor (cprocto1) Rob Torres (rtorres1)
  • Sustainability/Lang Center - Clare Hyre (chyre1)
  • Sci Center/Chemistry - Ian McGarvey (imcgarv1)
  • ITS/Parrish - Kelly Fitzpatrick (kfitzpa1)
  • AV/Beardsley - Michael Patterson (mpatter1)
  • Biology/Singer - Matt Powell (mpowell1)
  • LPAC - Tom Snyder (tsnyder1)
  • Environmental Health & Safety - Collen Battista (cbattis1), Alice Turbiville (aturbiv1)
  • Engineering/Singer - Ed Jaoudi (ejaoudi1)
  • 101 S. Chester - Christopher Kane (ckane1)

If your building is missing and/or you're unsure who to contact, feel free to email any of the above representatives with questions.

Local E-Waste Recycling Services



Swarthmore/Delaware County:


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Correct disposal method
Aluminum foil 

Recycle. Rinse or wipe off food and liquid first.


Baked Goods Baked Goods

Compost. All food scraps (including meat and dairy) are compostable.
Aluminum Can  Can Recycle. Empty and clean food and beverage can before recycling.

Cardboard Cardboard

Recycle. Break down and remove tape.
Cartons Cartons Recycle.
Chopsticks Chopsticks Compost if item is wood or was provided by the College.
Coffee FilterCoffee Filter Compost
Coffee Sleeve Coffee Sleeve Compost if item was provided by the College.
Coffee Stirrer Coffee Stirrer Compost if item is wood or was provided by the College
Cold Drink Cup Cold Drink CUp Compost if item was provided by the College and has GREENWARE label.
Cold Drink Cup Lid Cold drink cup lid Compost if item was provided by the College and has GREENWARE label.
Compostable Utensils Compostable Utensils Compost. These wooden utensils, as well as the paper-based bag and napkin, are compostable.
Envelope Envelope

Recycle regular envelopes, even those with plastic windows.


Fruits and Vegetables Fruits and Vegetables  Compost
Glass, Bottles and Jars Glass bottles and jars

Recycle. Item must be unbroken, clean, and empty.

Trash broken glass.

Hot Drink Cup hot drink cup Compost if item was provided by the College and has ECOCONTAINER label.
Hot Drink Cup Lid hot drink cup lid Compost if item was provided by the College.
Magazine Glossy Magazine

Recycle if made of glossy material.

Compost if made of non-glossy paper.


Compost if paper napkin.

Trash only if used for chemicals or cleaners.

Newspaper Newspaper Recycle.
Notebook Notebook Recycle.
Padded Envelope Padded Envelope



Paper Bag Paper bag Recycle.
Paper Clips Paper Clips Recycle.
Paper Plates and BowlsPaper plates and bowls

Compost if item was provided by the College.

Recycle if not College-provided but made of paper.

Trash  if not College-provided and has waxy finish. 

Paper Towel Paper Towel


Trash if used for chemicals or cleaners.

Pills or Medicine Unmarked Pills Trash.
Pizza Pizza slice. Compost. Cheese and meat toppings are compostable.
Pizza Box Pizza box Compost, but remove wax lining in box.
Plastic Bag, Film, or Saran Wrap Plastic Bag


Check if your grocery store recycles plastic bags, many do!

Plastic Bottle or Jug  Plastic Bottle

Recycle if item is made of plastic #1, #2, or #5. Make sure it is empty and clean.

Trash if item is made of plastic #3, #4, or #6.

Plastic Salad Container   Plastic Salad Container

Recycle if item is made of plastic #1, #2, or #5. Make sure it's empty and clean.

Compost if item is #7 or PLA plastic 

Trash if item is #3, #4, or #6.

Plastic Takeout Container   Plastic takeout Container

Recycle if item is made of plastic #1, #2, #5.

Trash if  item is made of black plastic. 

Plastic Container and/or Lid Plastic container and lid

Recycle if item is made of plastic #1, #2, #5.  Make sure it is empty and clean.

Trash if item is unlabeled or  #3, #4,or #6.

Plastic Utensils  Trash if item is plastic and unlabeled or #3, #4 or #6. 
Sandwich Sandwich Compost. Meat and cheese and spred fillings are okay.
Scrap Paper Scrap Paper Recycle.
Shredded Paper Shredded Paper



Snack Bar Wrapper Snack Bar Wrapper Trash.
Solo Cup Solo Plastic Red Cup Trash 
Staples  Trash
Paper Straws
Green straw
Compost if provided by the College. Paper straws only.
Styrofoam Styrofoam cup Trash.
Sugar, Salt, or Sweetener Packet Sugar and Sweetener packets Compost if packet is paper.
Takeout Container Takeout Container

Compost if item is provided by the College.

Recycle if item is made of paper. 

Trash if item is Styrofoam.

Takeout Lunch BoxTakeout Lunch Box

Recycle if item is provided by the College. 

Tea Bag tea bag Compost. Remove staple.
Tea Bag Wrapper 

Recycle if made of glossy material.

Compost if made of paper.