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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

SEA Change: Yet another boring column on recycling?

Published: November 7, 2008
Section: Opinions

Ten percent. Yup, just 10%.

Brandeis University recycles 10% of its waste. When I first heard that statistic, I was shocked. Brandeis, a college of 3000+ students who are supposedly passionate about social issues only manage to give 10% of our efforts to the best way out there of decreasing our strain on finite resources?

First off, I apologize for the “eco-guilt” coming from the hippy SEA kid, but this is little ridiculous. If you actively choose to throw your plastic bottle in the garbage, I know this column won’t change your mind. But that isn’t really my goal. This is for all the people—and I include myself—that didn’t know it was possible to recycle milk cartons? Or sometimes forget to throw our newspapers into the blue and green bins? Shit happens, we forget, or we weren’t informed – so here’s to hoping the Brandeis community doesn’t have to feel guilty.

Here is Brandeis Recycling 101 on what you can and cannot recycle:

RECYCLE: Paper and Cardboard: pizza boxes WITHOUT food residue, computer/copy paper, newspapers/magazines, junk mail, catalogs/phone books, books, all types of cardboard

RECYCLE: Plastic, Glass and Metal: plastic numbered 1-7 (look at bottom of container for the symbol), glass bottles, containers, etc, metal caps and lids, clean aluminum foil, laundry detergent jugs, juice boxes, milk cartons and aseptic packaging

NO, TRASH IT: To-Go containers, mirrors, styrofoa, china plates or cups, light bulbs, plastic shopping bags (but you can recycle them at supermarkets…bring them to Hannafords), pizza boxes WITH food residue, tissues/napkins, paper cups/plates, carbon paper, foam peanuts, food waste


Inkjet Cartridges: Mailroom.

Cell phones: Mailroom.

Batteries: Mailroom OR the science stockroom– Kalman Room 9

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Science stockroom– Kalman Room 9

Furniture: Did you know we have a “Used Furniture” listserv? If you want to get rid of furniture, contact Liz Clark ( and she’ll advertise on the listserv for you.

Remember, we now have single stream recycling so you can dump everything in your same bin!

My eleven year old sister just wrote an essay about how if “you take just 15 minutes out of your day to recycle, it would really make a difference.” If a fifth grader gets it, we Brandesians should, too.