Skip to main content

The Center for Sustainability collaborates with other departments to implement recycling, composting and reuse across campus.

Recycling Bins on JCCC Campus

Campus Recycling and Reuse

Single-stream recycling in blue bins throughout campus is one of the most visible efforts, but student interns are behind the scenes sorting, recycling and finding new homes for the myriad materials that come from campus each year, facilitating our high rate of diversion from the landfill. Diversion rates can be found on the recycling dashboard link.

Recycling Revenue Benefits Student Scholarships 

Recycling on campus helps the College meet its climate commitment and zero-waste goals while also helping support students. Many streams of recycling result in rebates that go to the JCCC Foundation to support student scholarships. The amount raised can be found on the recycling dashboard link.

Recycle and Reuse Programs

Zero Waste Stations – Material and Location

CC 2 - lounge near restrooms
  • Compost, Greenies, Electronics, Plastic Bags, Glass

CLB 2 – near Vibe Coffee

  • Compost, Greenies, Electronics, Plastic Bags, Glass

COM 3 - across from 309

  • Compost, Greenies, Electronics, Plastic Bags, Glass

GEB 2 – next to 238

  • Compost, Greenies, Electronics, Plastic Bags, Glass

ITC 1 – center lounge

  • Single stream, plastic bags, electronics, glass

LIB 2 – near checkout desk and bridge to OCB

  • Single stream, plastic bags, electronics, glass

SC 1 – near bookstore entrance

  • Single stream, plastic bags, electronics, glass

SCI 1 – next to 128

  • Single stream, plastic bags, electronics, glass

RC 2 - near elevator

  • Single stream, plastic bags, electronics, glass
  • 50 gallon containers delivered on request, email Recycle@jccc.edu
  • Anytime you are cleaning out a space or have an excess of materials that need to be sorted for recycling and reuse

Located in GEB 212; hours vary during breaks and holidays

Staff and faculty are welcome to leave and take excess office supplies for campus reuse. If there is a common item you are looking for that isn’t in the ROSE store, try asking for it on the jccc@list.com or emailing recycle@jccc.edu to see if it can be found or held for you. Please don’t leave furniture; see section on Surplus.

Items that are most commonly in stock:

  • Binders up to 2” most common
  • Hanging file folders, manila folders, report covers, page dividers, labels
  • Writing utensils, markers, stamps and ink
  • Paper clips, binder clips
  • Desk organizers, file sorters
  • Staplers, paper punches, paper cutters
  • Printer ink and toner
  • Paper, white and colors
  • Baskets, coffee pots, footrests, chair mats

Recycle and Reuse Instructions by Material

Recycling Guide

A visual guide for home or office approved by our recycling vendor

What

  • Office-related paper, mail, catalogs, magazines (tape, envelope windows, staples/paperclips OK)
  • Plastic bottles (empty, lids on OK)
  • Plastic containers numbered 1-6 (empty, lids on OK)
  • Aluminum and steel (tin) cans, empty aerosol cans (no hissing noise left, or they can explode during recycling)
  • Aluminum foil and pans (if fairly clean of food residue and foil is balled 2 inches or larger)
  • Cardboard, paperboard
  • Paper cartons from milk, soup, etc.

If you have a large amount of magazines or paper that will make your bin heavy, please email a request for an Easy Office Cleanout Bin.

NOT

  • Paper or foam drink cups from coffee or soda (coated with plastic)
  • Chip bags, food wrappers, takeout containers, paper bowls or plates, plastic utensils, straws, boxes that contained frozen foods (chemical coating)
  • Pizza boxes (exception: clean lids can be recycled, or compost entire box)
  • Tissues, napkins, paper towels (are compostable)
  • Styrofoam, foam peanuts, foam bags, foam packing materials
  • Plastic bags, plastic wrap or any “soft” plastics (see section on Plastic Bags)
  • Paper wrappers from reams of paper (coated in silicone)
  • Receipts or carbon paper (chemicals), decal paper (silicone), laminated paper (plastic), acetate sheets
  • Shredded paper (see section on Shredded Paper)
  • Glass (see section on Glass)
  • Electronics (see section on Electronics)
  • Hanging file folders (paper is not recyclable because of type of dye used)*
  • Paper with binder clips or spiral or comb bindings**

How

  • Place unbagged materials in bin.
    • Containers, bottles and cans must be empty (lids can stay on)
    • Spiral bindings and binder clips must be removed**; staples and paperclips are OK 
    • Scotch tape and clear windows on envelopes are OK
  • Flatten empty boxes (flattening them helps with transport and reduces contamination during compacting because other materials can’t fall into them) and place them behind bin.
*Hanging file folders can be taken to the ROSE Store, GEB 212, or sent to OCB 157 for interns to disassemble (metal bar is recyclable).
**Paper with binder clips or spiral or comb bindings can be sent to OCB 157, or request an Easy Office Cleanout Bin, so interns and work study students can disassemble them.

Where

  • Any blue bin or bin labeled single stream on campus
  • Bins generically labeled “recycling”

Why

  • Single-stream recycling is the most common and easy way to recycle. Collecting mixed recyclable materials in a single bin increases recycling rates and reduces trash hauling costs. When markets are good, JCCC receives a rebate for single-stream recycling, which supports student scholarships.
  • Please, no wish-cycling; it’s important to keep our contamination levels as low as possible. If you are questioning something’s recyclability, please email Recycle@jccc.edu to check, and WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!

From Home

What

  • Empty, flattened corrugated cardboard and non-corrugated paperboard boxes
    • Plastic wrapping should be removed
    • Plastic handles should be cut off
    • If you have projects that produce large amounts of cardboard, please schedule carts to be dropped off or email a request to pick up recycling.

NOT

  • Fry-Wagner moving boxes (unless they are damaged)
  • Boxes covered in “wax” for shipping produce
  • Packing materials inside a box (unless also cardboard)

How

  • Break down empty boxes and place behind the blue single-stream recycling bins; this helps housekeepers fit the boxes into their carts for transport and keeps other materials from falling into the boxes while they are being compacted.
    • Staples, packing tape and attached shipping documents are OK
Moving Boxes (Fry-Wagner) - Make a service request for Housekeeping delivery or pickup of empty boxes.

Where

  • Any blue single-stream recycling bin
  • Staff collection points in the RC parking garage, CSB dock and CTEC automotive area

If you produce large amounts of cardboard regularly or for a project, please coordinate for collection bins by emailing recycle@jccc.edu.

Why

  • Cardboard is very recyclable — it accounts for a large portion of the scholarship money generated by recycling.
  • Cardboard collected from the bookstore, the Regnier Center, and the IT and automotive departments is put into a baler and compacted into 1,000 pound cubes at the JCCC Warehouse, then sold on the commodities market for scholarship dollars.
  • Cardboard from single-stream recycling is separated at the vendor's material recovery facility (MRF) and baled into cubes for sale on the commodities market, which can result in rebates back to the College.

From Home

What

Shredded paper is complicated; depending on various factors, it may be recycled or composted — or may need to go to the landfill.

  • Paper that has been sent to Document Services or placed in a shredding box on campus will be recycled at the vendor's facility.
  • Paper that has been run through a personal office shredder can be composted if it does not contain receipts or carbon paper, which contain chemicals that should not be composted into the soil.
  • Shredded paper containing receipts or carbon paper should be thrown away.

How

  • Shredded paper cannot go into the single-stream blue recycling bins.
  • Shredded paper from your office, if it does not contain receipts or carbon paper, can be emptied into one of the compost bins on campus. Bags of shredded paper can be dropped off at the Center for Sustainability in OCB 157.
  • Paper that needs to be shredded can be boxed and picked up by Document Services.

Where

  • Composting – Zero Waste Stations, Food Court compost bins, or bagged and dropped off at OCB 157
  • Shredding – Document Services or shredding box

Why

  • Shredded paper makes a good carbon amendment to JCCC's food composting system.
  • Shredded paper is fully recyclable in large volume when it can be baled into cubes and shipped.

From Home

  • If you compost at home, shredded paper is a great carbon additive to your mix.
  • Shredded paper should not be placed in your curbside recycling bin.
  • Watch for paper shredding events by following the Center for Sustainability on social media, or visiting Recyclespot.org for events in your area.

What

  • Books from campus — textbooks, spiral-bound textbooks or training manuals, loose-leaf textbooks, professional journals, code and safety manuals
  • Books from home

Where

  • The designated book donation bin is inside the front of the bookstore
  • If you have a large quantity of books in your office, please email the Sustainability Office for boxes and a pickup or an Easy Office Cleanout bin

Why

  • Books are one or our biggest scholarship revenue streams; depending on their value, they will be sold through a third-party vendor or at campus fundraising book sales, or they will be donated or recycled.

From Home

What

  • Campus or home-generated: Electric cables, cords or wire; CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes; cellphones; inkjet/toner cartridges; small tools; rechargeable batteries; keyboard/mouse; power strips; hair dryers and curling irons; LED bulbs
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY (fees involved): alkaline batteries, button batteries, monitors or televisions, refrigerators
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: microwaves, printers, equipment, lead-acid batteries, uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries, ballasts, transformers
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: fluorescent lightbulbs (see section on Hazardous Materials)
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: computers, monitors, printers

Not

  • Smoke alarms, mercury thermostats (digital OK)
  • Large home electronics or appliances, or anything involving fees

How

  • Small items can be put into Zero Waste Stations (see section on Zero Waste Stations).
  • Used ink/toner cartridges should be put back into original box and either put into Zero Waste Stations or marked “warehouse recycle” and placed in your outgoing mail to be taken to the warehouse. Unused cartridges should be brought to the ROSE Store, GEB 212.
  • For items such as microwaves, coffee makers or mini fridges, email Recycle@jccc.edu; if your item is in working order, please let us know so we can rehome it.
  • For large or heavy items, create a warehouse ticket for pickup and indicate whether or not the item is in working order in the description.
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: Computers, monitors and printers — please contact the Technical Support Center at 913-469-8500, ext. 4357, or email techsupport@jccc.edu.

Where

Zero Waste Stations (see section on Zero Waste Stations)
  • Staff – Electronics recycling in RC 270 in cabinet
  • Staff – Drop off at OCB 157
  • Staff – Electronics recycling at warehouse

Why

  • Electronics can contain heavy metals such as lead, nickel, cadmium and mercury, which can be hazardous to human health and environment if mismanaged.
  • They also contain valuable resources that can be recycled, such as copper, gold, platinum and high-quality plastics.
  • JCCC uses an R2 third-party-certified recycler to recycle and dispose of campus e-waste responsibly.
  • JCCC receives rebates for portions of our e-waste, which go toward student scholarships.

From Home

  • Watch the JCCC Center for Sustainability social media accounts for announcement about local recycling events.
  • Visit RecycleSpot for information on recycling locations and events.
  • Best Buy, Staples and Office Depot offer electronics recycling; county household hazardous waste programs will often take electronics and fluorescent lightbulbs as well as other hazardous items.
  • There will be fees involved for TVs, monitors and freon-containing items such as refrigerators, as these have hazardous waste.

What

  • Clean and dry plastic bags
    • Often labeled #2 and #4
    • Includes shopping bags, shipping bags, bubble wrap, packing pillows, shrink wrap or pallet wrap, and the plastic wrapper on your Document Services orders

Not

  • Bags or wrappers for meat or dairy items (they start to stink)
  • Foam bags that often are wrapped around electronics
  • Plastic that tears instead of stretches (please send it to the landfill)

How

  • Plastic bags must be sorted into their own recycling container because they go to a material-specific vendor.
  • They cannot go into the single-stream blue bins on campus or your curbside recycling container at home because they can blow away during transport or get tangled in the recycling equipment.

Where

Why

  • Plastic bags are 100% recyclable into new sheet plastics, plastic pallets and crates, and plastic lumber, and they can reduce our overall oil consumption.
  • Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to manufacture.
  • Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but take 500 years to degrade in the landfill. The bags don't break down completely but instead photo-degrade into microplastics and pollute soil and water.

From Home

  • Plastic bags from your home can be recycled at grocery or big box stores, which usually have a collection area just inside the front doors. For more information, visit local recycling.

What

  • Food-grade glass bottles and jars, vases, candles (wax residue OK) cosmetic jars, windows, table tops, shower doors

Not

  • Pyrex, mirrors, ceramics, china, tempered or laminated glass, stained glass, lightbulbs, glass with a metal frame, any glass you can’t see through

How

  • Glass must be loose — do not place items in bags or boxes — and sorted into its own recycling container both for safety reasons and because it goes to a material-specific vendor.
  • Lids on bottles or jars are OK.

Where

  • Zero Waste Stations have glass collection (see section on Zero Waste Stations)
  • Food Court dining area
  • RC basement recycling room (housekeeping access)

Why

  • Glass that you recycle is used right here in the metro to manufacture beer bottles for Boulevard Brewery and fiberglass insulation.
  • Glass is infinitely recyclable and doesn’t lose quality over time.

From Home

What

  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: Fluorescent light bulbs, mercury thermostats, smoke detectors, solvents, recovered silver, tires, used motor oil, mercury, paint, chemicals

Not

  • Any materials generated off-campus

How

  • To dispose of JCCC-generated hazardous materials, email Gary Cook, Director of Housekeeping Services/HazMat Control.

Why

  • Fluorescent light bulbs contain elemental mercury, which becomes airborne when bulbs are broken.
  • Solvents, oil and other toxic liquids can leach into the groundwater through the soil or a leak in the landfill liner.
  • The College can face fines if hazardous waste is not disposed of properly.

From Home

  • The College is unable to accept hazardous waste from off-campus sources.
  • Fluorescent bulbs can often be returned to big box stores, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, in their customer service areas.
  • Your county will have a hazardous waste collection site, and may have collection events periodically. For more resources and local events visit RecycleSpot.

What

  • Cornstarch peanuts (squish flat, melt on your tongue)
  • Foam Core used for signage and displays (can be reused on campus and donated for reuse to one of our nonprofit vendors)

Not

  • Foam packing peanuts, white block Styrofoam and foam packing materials of any type, including foam bags, are no longer recycled on campus. Please throw all foam products in the landfill bin.
    • Although packing peanuts made from foam can be reused, only small amounts can be stored for fire safety reasons; otherwise they go in the landfill bin.

How

  • Foamcore boards in good condition and poster-size can often be reused by FADS art students, for temporary signage, as cutting mats, or to back picture frames, etc. Email Recycle@jccc.edu for pickup, or drop off at GEB 157.
    • JCCC also has a nonprofit vendor that takes foamcore boards for reuse. If the corners are slightly dinged the vendor will still take it; it will most likely get cut down to a different size anyway. Email Recycle@jccc.edu for pickup, or drop off at GEB 157.
  • Cornstarch peanuts (will flatten when squished and melt in water) can be put into any compost container on campus. If you have a large amount, email Recycle@jccc.edu for pickup.

Why

  • Styrofoam has become increasingly difficult to recycle; we have been working with vendors to remove Styrofoam from packaging for items that are shipped to campus. If you regularly deal with a vendor packaging items in foam, email Reycle@jccc.edu so we can work with the vendor on alternatives.
  • Styrofoam is a toxic smoke hazard when burned, so it is not stored. 

From Home

  • If you would like to make the effort to recycle white block Styrofoam, visit achfoam.com for more information. 

What

NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY:
  • Steel, stainless, aluminum, copper, brass and lead in the form of sheeting, pipes, extrusions, conduit, wire (with sheathing is fine)
  • Non-working or damaged HVAC, furniture, light fixtures, drinking fountains
  • Spray cans, hardware, helium tanks, metal easels, etc.

Not

  • Items generated off-campus without approval; email Recycle@jccc.edu
  • Transformers or ballasts; please send for e-waste (see section on Electronics, Batteries, Cords, Toner and Ink Cartridges)
  • Light bulbs, glass

How

If you produce a lot of metal scrap in your area, we can supply carts or bins for collection; email Recycle@jccc.edu.
  • Nonferrous metals such as aluminum, copper, copper wire and brass, if possible, should be collected separately from steel, as they have more value to the College's scholarship fund and are driven in for recycling.
  • Metal with some (20%) other contaminating material such as wood or plastic attached is fine to put directly into the metal recycling roll-off. Otherwise, it needs to be disassembled from the contaminating material. Contact Recycle@jccc.edu for disassembly.
  • Refrigerators go to e-waste; contact the warehouse for pickup of full-size fridges and please indicate whether or not the fridge is in working order.
  • Fountains, HVAC: all gases and oils must be drained.
    • Freon gas, oil and gasoline must be removed and the item labeled very obviously “Empty.”
    • Pressurized tanks must be emptied, punctured and labeled very obviously “Empty.”
  • The scrap metal roll-off container cannot have items sticking out more than 2 inches on top, and nothing to the sides. If the container holds any unauthorized items, the recycler could refuse to take it or the College could get fined.

Where

NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY:
  • Smaller metal items can be recycled in bins located on the docks of CC, CSB, LIB and the warehouse, or left on the OCB, CC, COM or WHCA docks with tags saying “recycle.” These are sorted into ferrous and nonferrous categories by Sustainability staff.
  • Large ferrous metal items should be placed in the recycling container labeled MIXED SCRAP METAL located in the south compound. If any of these items needs to be moved or disassembled, email Recycle@jccc.edu.
  • Nonferrous metals such as aluminum, copper, etc., can be placed at south compound, inside fence, or email Recycle@jccc.edu to have items picked up to disassemble and separate metals

Why

  • JCCC gets a rebate on all the metal it collects, which provides a significant amount for student scholarships. Metal is also heavy, so keeping it out of the trash helps the College save on landfill fees, which are based on weight and volume.
  • Steel producers in the United States use more than 70% recycled steel, which reduces mining wastes by 97%.

What

  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: wood pallets
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: wood crates
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: lumber such as two-by-fours and non-laminated or finished wood

Not

  • Treated lumber, plywood
  • Attached plastic or foam
  • Attached metal larger than a standard nail or screw

How

  • Standard-size pallets (40x48 inches) are reused by campus and our vendors.
  • Non-standard pallets are currently being landfilled until we secure another wood waste vendor.
  • For six or fewer pallets, contact Recycle@jccc.edu to have them moved. If you have a larger stack, please put in a service ticket to have them moved with a forklift.
  • For crates, please contact Recycle@jccc.edu to have them moved and broken down.

Where

  • Standard pallets - South Compound, inside north fence there is a place for standard pallets to be stacked
  • Non-standard pallets - South Compound landfill roll-offs
  • Crates – South Compound for disassembly

Why

  • Reusing pallets helps keep landfill costs down and the campus from having to buy them when needed, along with saving natural resources.
  • We are currently working on finding a new wood waste vendor for non-standard pallets and lumber so that they don't go to the landfill.

What

  • Furniture, chairs and equipment that are no longer wanted or needed, despite condition
  • Office supplies, décor
  • College-owned computers, monitors, printers
  • Materials that you produce often such as banners, scrap fabrics, etc.

How

  • Tag item as “Surplus” and submit a warehouse ticket for pickup; please include in the description whether the item is in working condition or any other information that will help make decisions on whether to sell it, donate it or recycle it.
  • If a smaller, commonly used item is in good condition, email a post to JCCC@list.edu for on-campus reuse for 24-48 hours and see if one of your co-workers has a need for it.
  • Office supplies and décor can be taken to ROSE Store, GEB 212, put in Easy Office Cleanout Bins or boxed for pickup email Recycle@jccc.edu.
  • NOTE: CAMPUS-GENERATED ONLY: Computers, monitors and printers — Please contact the Technical Support Center at 913-469-8500, ext. 4357, or email Techsupport@jccc.edu

Where

  • Office supplies and décor may be brought to the ROSE Store in GEB 212.
  • Surplus furniture and equipment is moved to the warehouse and reviewed for campus reuse, sale by online auction at govdeals.com, donation or recyclability.
    • If you are in need of a common piece of furniture such as a desk, chair, file cabinet, bookshelf, coat rack or table, email Warehouse@jccc.edu.

Why

  • Reusing items on campus helps save the College money and reduces environmental impact and landfilling.
  • Items that come through the surplus and recycling program are used for sustainable student sculptures on campus.
  • JCCC works with several nonprofits to donate everything from furniture to pencils, banner scraps and fabric, and other items that they use directly or can sell to support their mission.


Please email Recycle@jccc.edu for containers or pickup for these items, or if you have something you regularly produce that needs to be evaluated.

  • Banners (vinyl or fabric) Banners are repurposed into bags sewn from the various materials
  • Fabric scraps, fabric samples, wallpaper samples, tile samples
  • Laminated posters
  • Moving Boxes (Fry-Wagner): Make service request for housekeeping delivery or pickup of empty boxes

Recycling Guides

Recycling, Charging Stations, Bike Racks, Bus Stop, Campus Farm and More ...

See our Map for Locations

See our statistics showing over 58% reduction in campus trash and increase in recycling. Recycling Statistics