Reuse & Recycling

Each week Cornell custodians collect 26 tons of single-stream recyclable materials from over 90 campus buildings, on average. That's equivalent to 51,240 pounds of recyclable materials per week. Cornell supplies all campus offices with single-stream recycling bins for paper, cardboard, plastic (#1, 2 and 5), tin, and glass. The true magic happens when you make recycling an everyday habit and keep recycling free from contamination. (Pro tip: Use an app like 'Way of Life' to help motivate new habits.)

ReUse programs support Cornell’s commitment to sustainability and our surrounding local community through many channels, including:

  • Direct donations to non-profit organizations and local schools

  • Funds raised for local non-profit organizations

  • Dump & Run annual community sales

  • Contributions to Tompkins County Solid Waste reduction goals

  • Promotion of cultural change by reducing and eliminating waste

Through R5 ReUse and Recycling programs, Cornell University diverted an impressive total of 6,929.01 tons of waste materials from the landfill in 2017.

We can do better.

Reusing and recycling are effective ways to manage waste, but the most powerful impacts on waste reduction efforts tie back to R5 Operations: rethink, reduce, and respect. Can you rethink the ways you consume to ultimately reduce how many resources you use? Once you have brainstormed more efficient and sustainable ways to consume, respect these guidelines. Here are tips to get started. You may also take action in your workspace by earning the Green Office certification. Explore more resources below.

Reuse and Recycle Resources at Cornell