Recycling & Waste Reduction

Since we launched our recycling campaign, we have diverted more than 3000 tons of recycling from landfills. We've made great strides, but we can still improve. We're happy to provide recycling bins and department training on recycling practices. 

Learn how to recycle on campus and submit a work order to request any recycling-related support.

Recycling in Research Environments

In coordination with Environmental Health and Safety, we're piloting a comprehensive training and bin expansion program to reduce "red bag" or regulated medical waste. In addition to encouraging conventional disposal of minimally contaminated waste, participating labs are also increasing recycling diversion. Learn more about our medical waste removal procedures.

If you're a lab manager, you can submit a work order to request additional bins to collect large quantities of #5 plastic waste from pipette tip boxes and certain types of rigid plastic bottles. 

Construction Waste Reduction

The Columbia University School of Nursing and the Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center are registered LEED projects under review by the U.S. Green Building Council. Each project diverted a combined 8,000 tons, or over 90 percent of its construction waste.

Organic Waste Collection Program

Residents in CUIMC on-campus housing buildings at 154 Haven and 390 Ft. Washington can help keep biodegradable organic waste out of landfills through our pilot composting program.

Update: Due to COVID-19, this program is temporarily suspended until further notice.

Additional Recycling Services

We recycle a number of other more regulated items with the support of Environmental Health and Safety, including batteries and electronics.

Learn more about recycling and proper disposal:

Several times a year, Public Safety holds a Shred Fest/Electronics Destruction and Ride Your Bike to Campus event, where you can shred documents and dispose of electronics for free.

If you'd like to recycle plastic bags, check with your local grocery or retail store to see if they accept them. New York state law requires that all retail stores with more than 10,000 square feet of space, or that are part of a large chain, provide a way for customers to recycle plastic bags.

Your Impact

Our primary recycling efforts start at the easy-to-access recycling bins throughout the CUIMC campus, where you can drop off plastics, metals, glass, and mixed paper and cardboard. Our commercial carting partner delivers recyclables to their South Bronx depot facility for additional sorting, then sells materials to specialized facilities for recycling and reuse.

Learn more about where and how to recycle common materials.