Waste Management

There is currently no composting in the residence halls. Food waste can be taken to the outdoor compost stations across campus. 


Recycling and Composting

According to the Cleaning Expectations Policies and Procedures, all residents must separate recyclables from trash and clean items before they are placed in recycling receptacles. Recycling bins for paper and cardboard, as well as metal, glass, plastic and cartons are available in every building, usually in central locations such as suites, lobbies, and hallways. 

If a recycling receptacle is missing, please submit a Maintenance Request to have it replaced. When the DSNY composting program is in operation, residents in select buildings can compost the appropriate items using the compost bins and adhering to posted compost collection methods. 

Other Items to Recycle

There are some items that can't be placed in your residence hall recycling station, but can be recycled or put to another use:

  • Plastic shopping bags can be recycled in the laundry rooms of most residence halls
  • Clothes and shoes can be donated via bins and shoe boxes located throughout the residence halls
  • Reusable batteries, lightbulbs, small electronics, or hardcover books can be recycled in the Lerner Hall lobby

Visit NYC Recycles for other specialty items.

Textile Donations

Columbia Housing residents wishing to recycle gently used clothing and shoes may deposit these items in permanent donation bins located in most residential buildings. Bins are provided by a recycling service that works to reduce textile waste. 

Items to Discard

Some paper, cardboard, metal, glass or plastic items cannot be recycled. These items should be donated or discarded.

  • Paper with heavy wax or plastic coating (candy wrappers, take-out and freezer containers, etc.)
  • Soiled or paper (napkins, paper towels, tissues)
  • Hardcover books
  • Plate glass
  • Ceramics
  • Window blinds
  • Foam plastic items (such as foam food service containers, cups and trays, foam protective packing blocks, and, and foam packing peanuts)
  • Flexible plastic items (such as pouches and squeeze tubes)
  • Film plastic (such as plastic shopping bags and wrappers.) Bring plastic bags and film to participating stores for recycling
  • Cigarette lighters and butane gas lighters
  • Cassette and VHS tapes
  • CDs and DVDs
  • Pens and markers
  • “Tanglers” (such as cables, wires, cords)
  • Rigid plastic containers containing medical “sharps”