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Single-Stream Recycling comes to Purdue. Learn more about this program!

Refuse & Recycling

Purdue's refuse and recycling operation is part of the Grounds Department. Refuse and recycling is collected seven days per week, year-round. Both the refuse and recycling portions of the operation operate like a municipal trash and recycling collection operation.

Each building served has an appropriate combination of trash and recycling dumpsters and/or roll-off containers. The routes and containers are serviced by trash compactor trucks or j-hook trucks depending on the type of container. The trash is then transported to the local transfer station for delivery to a landfill. The recycling is also transported to the transfer station, where it is later transported to a materials reclamation facility by a third-party vendor.

Additionally, box trucks are used to collect food pulp carts from the dining halls, which are transported to the West Lafayette Waste Water Treatment plant. The food pulp is placed into an anaerobic digester that converts the fuel (food waste) to methane gas, which is then converted to energy to power a portion of the treatment plant.

The goals of the operation are twofold – provide timely removal of trash and recycling in order to provide for a sanitary campus, and to reduce the amount of materials placed in the landfill by promoting recycling.

Purdue recycling is committed to reducing the generation of solid waste as we work toward a long-term goal of generating zero waste to landfill. We support recycling of glass, plastics, metals, batteries, office paper, confidential materials, cardboard, pallets, organics, and other materials.

By following some of the suggestions on the Waste Reduction/Recycle Tips page, you can make a difference in helping Purdue University meet its recycling goal. If in doubt, recycle it, or if you would like some additional reasons for recycling, refer to the Benefits of Recycling page.

Recycling Video

Ever wonder, "What happens to the stuff we put in the recycle bins?  Does it really get recycled/reused?"  

Well, here's the answer to that question.  The following video clip that explains very clearly and simply what really happens to the materials we recover and how they get reused.

Well worth the few minutes it takes to watch.