General recycling at NIU

On NIU’s campus, recycling has become a crucial aspect of our waste diversion program. By implementing a co-mingled or single-stream recycling system, students, staff and faculty members at NIU can recycle waste with ease. Any acceptable recyclable material can be deposited in any recycling bin without having to take the time to separate different types of materials. Recycling bins are widely distributed across campus for the convenience of students, staff and faculty members.

A wide variety of recyclable items are accepted in the recycling bins throughout NIU’s campus. All plastics labeled numbers 1-7 are acceptable materials. However, no plastic film (such as shopping bags) or polystyrene (better known as Styrofoam) can be discarded in the bins.

Recyclables do not have to be cleaned prior to being deposited in the receptacles, but they must be free of any liquids or food waste. It is important to note that cardboard food containers, like pizza boxes, are recyclable as long as they are not greasy. In situations where only a portion of the container is greasy, the soiled part of the container should be removed and the rest should be deposited in the recycling bins.

Recycling is an important factor in promoting sustainability at NIU as it helps us lower our environmental footprint. With so much paper, cardboard, plastics and other recyclable objects being used throughout campus, it is critical that these items are recycled rather than sent to a landfill.

In 2016 alone, NIU diverted nearly 570 tons, or over 1 million pounds, of waste through our current recycling efforts. Because NIU has encouraged recycling rates by having a single stream recycling system and convenient receptacle locations, it is likely that our percentage of waste diversion will only continue to increase.

For more information on recycling at NIU, see the comprehensive list of what are and are not acceptable recyclable materials. 

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