Waste Reduction: Recycling

Elon's recycling program began in the late 1980s as a student initiative and is now managed by Environmental Services. Elon recycles or composts about 30% of its waste stream (excluding construction projects). In addition to typical paper, glass and plastic recyclables, the University also recycles the following from its waste stream: automotive batteries, fluorescent bulbs, motor oil, tires, electronics and shipping pallets.

Click on a material below to see more information about how and where to recycle it at Elon.

Plastic, Aluminum Cans and GlassPrinter & Toner cartridgesCell phones
PaperHousehold BatteriesCDs & DVDs
CardboardSmall ElectronicsWriting Instruments (pens, pencils, markers)


Plastic, Aluminum Cans & Glass

All plastics (#1-7) can now be recycled.  Plastics, glass (all colors) and metals (e.g. soda cans, soup cans) can be recycled in the same bin. If recycling a food container remove as much food waste from the container as possible before recycling it.

FAQ: What do the numbers inside the arrows mean on plastics?
These numbers indicate the type of plastic used to make the object. For a full description and examples of what each number corresponds to see this article.

Bin Location: Bins are located near trash cans in classrooms, hallways, lounges, other common spaces and outdoor campus locations.


Newspaper, magazines, office paper of any color, sticky notes, envelopes with plastic windows, paperboard and a number of other types of paper can be recycled.  See the Recycling Program webpage for a complete list of recyclable paper items.

**Some blue bins are labeled "White Paper Only".  Ignore this and refer to the items listed above.

Bin Location: All recyclable paper items go in the blue bins. Bins are located in offices, classrooms, the trash/recycling room of residence halls, the Library and Moseley Center.  If you do not have a deskside recycling bin in your office, you may request one by contacting Environmental Services.


To recycle cardboard, break it down flat and put it next to a paper recycling bin inside a building or next to an outdoor recycling container.

Bin Location: Outdoor recycling containers are located in residential areas and behind some campus buildings.
Residential Area Locations: The Oaks, Danieley Center, The Station at Mill Point.
Other Campus Building Locations: The Colonnades Dining Hall, McEwen Dining Hall, Moseley Center & Physical Plant (Dickson Building).

Printer & Toner Cartridges

Inkjet cartridges: Faculty and staff may send cartridges to Purchasing (2950 Campus Box). Cartridges may also be deposit in a collection bin like the one pictured (locations below). Cartridges will be recycled and proceeds benefit the Elon Academy.

Laserjet cartridges: If the cartridge is from OfficeMax, it should be returned to OfficeMax for recycling.  If you purchase remanufactured cartridges from Purchasing, send it back to purchasing. Contact x5580 for more information about purchasing lower cost remanufactured laser cartridges.  If the cartridge is not from OfficeMax or Purchasing it may be placed in a collection bin like the one pictured. 

Ricoh printer/copier toner cartridges: Faculty and staff may send cartridges to Purchasing (2950 Campus Box). Cartridges will not be refilled, but the plastic will be recycled.  At the School of Law, empty toners should be sent to Sue Williams (2005 Campus Box).

Bin Locations - inkjet and laserjet cartridges: Colonnades - Kivette Lobby, Danieley Center – Daniel Commons, East Area - Smith laundry room, Moseley Center Second Floor - outside of the Greek Life Office, Moseley Center First Floor -  near the elevator, Oaks - McCoy Oaks commons near mailboxes, West Area - Sloan laundry room & Virginia 103, Mooney 107, McMichael  - outside 120, Francis Center - Student lounge, Johnston Hall - 205A, Business Services - kitchenette School of Law Library - behind the Circulation Desk.

Household Batteries

There are four battery recycling bins on campus.

Bin Locations: Belk Library – main stairwell, McEwen Communications – Room 105, Moseley Center – by the elevator on the first floor and Center for the Arts - by the elevator on the first floor.



Small Electronics

Many electronics are now banned from the landfill in North Carolina. Click here for information about this law and recycling information. Large, University-owned electronics can be recycled by contacting Physical Plant (ext. 5500).

Small electronics such as: cell phones, digital cameras, MP3 players, computer speakers, hard drives, CDs, DVDs, CD/DVD drives, disks, headsets, cords, cables and chargers can be recycled in grey collection bins located throughout campus. 

Bin Locations: Belk Library - main stairwell, Moseley Center - near the mail center, Center for Fine Arts, McEwen Communications, McMichael Science Center, Mooney - sided entrance, Lindner Hall, Johnston Hall, Koury Business Center, Center for Leadership, Francis Center, School of Law. Map of bin locations.

Writing Instruments

Used writing intruments may be recycled in the container located in Belk Library's main stairwell. Recyclable writing intruments include pens, pencils, mechanical pencils, markers, highlighters, sharpies and dry erase markers.