Recycling at BCC

Zero Waste by 2020

Berkshire Community College has a goal of Zero Waste by the year 2020. As of 2018, about 81% of our waste is being diverted from trash through re-use, recycling, and composting. 

Your participation is essential in helping the College reach this goal. Please see BCC's recycling and composting guidelines below and make use of the bins provided throughout the campus. For waste reduction tips, visit The Center for EcoTechnology.

Please contact Laura Saldarini, BCC Green Team Chair, with any questions.

  • What can I recycle?

     You can recycle plastic, aluminum, tin, plastic, and glass bottles, as well as fairly clean plastic food containers (such as yogurt cups). There are dozens of recycling bins across campus.

    Bottle & Can Recycling BinPlastic
    • Plastic containers with the #1–7 symbols (you may leave caps on bottles)
    • Plastic grocery bags with the #2 and #4 symbols — includes milk jugs, water bottles, detergent & shampoo bottles, butter tubs, plastic yogurt cups, microwave food trays, plant flats, flower pots, etc. 
    • DO NOT RECYCLE: Bottles that contained automotive fluids orhazardous materials; styrofoam cups, plates, peanuts, packaging, etc.; plastic bags such as garbage, food storage, drycleaning, etc.; or plastic film
    • Preparation:
        • Wash all food residue, heavy soil, grease or soapy liquids from containers
        • Bags must be clean & dry — all paper and receipts must be removed
    4 Recycling BinsGlass
    • You may recycle clear, brown, green and blue glass bottles and jars.
    • DO NOT RECYCLE: Dishes or ceramics, light bulbs, broken windows, or mirrors
    • Preparation:
        • Remove lids and discard
        • Rinse clean
        • Remove any metal rings, plastic or foam labels (paper labels do not need to be removed)
    Blue ToterPaper
    • You may recycle computer paper (all colors), fax paper, carbonless forms, shredded paper, envelopes (windows are OK), post-it notes, junk mail (remove plastic contents), newspapers & magazines, boxboard (e.g. tissue boxes) and flatboard (such as cereal boxes), paper bags, phone books (remove cover), and text books. Staples, paper clips and rubber bands are AOK! 
    • DO NOT RECYCLE: Paper ream wrappers, 3-ring binders (reuse), plastic of any type, paper towels, tissues, napkins, or paper cups.

    There are several hundred paper recycling bins around campus.

    Corrugated Cardboard

    Please DO NOT put corrugated cardboard in recycling bins. Staff and faculty should flatten corrugated cardboard boxes and place in designated areas in the hallways. (Note, corrugated cardboard is not the same as cereal box "flatboard," which can be recycled with office paper.)

    Other Items

    For questions about recycling other items such as cell phones and ink cartridges, contact Jamie Cahillane at the Center for EcoTechnology.

  • What can I compost?

    BCC Cafeteria Compostable ItemsComposting is a system that utilizes natural processes to decompose organic materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Food scraps and yard waste currently make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw away, and should be composted instead, keeping these materials out of landfills. Compost can be added to soil to help plants grow. 

    Please compost:
    • All food
    • Food-soiled uncoated paper (paper cups & plates, paper towels, napkins, coffee grounds & filters, tea bags, wax paper/cartons, pizza boxes)
    • Low-grade paper (tissue paper, tissues, straw wrappers, paper sugar packets)
    • Compostable plastics — look for the words “PLA” or “Compostable” to identify compostable plastics.
    • Plants
    • Almost all of the items used in the BCC Cafeteria are compostable — see the photo above!