Sustainable Clark

Frequently Asked Questions

Watch this page for new questions and answers!

Q: What do we recycle at Clark?

A: Please read the Recycling Guidelines.

Q: Can paper and plastic be collected in the same bins?

A: We have separate bins for paper and co-mingle (metal/plastic/glass) in order to ensure that your recyclables will actually get recycled! Clark 'source separates' our recyclables to get the maximum value, unlike 'single stream' recycling which results in contaminated materials and low value. Many containers still contain a small amount of liquid when empty. When liquids get onto recyclable paper, the paper is considered "dirty," and will be rejected as trash by most domestic paper mills.

Q: My building's recycling bin is full, how can I get it picked up?

A: First, check the Recycling Pick-up Schedule to see when your building is scheduled. Most campus buildings are scheduled for weekly pickup. Call x7566 for emergency pickup.

Q: Can we request an extra bin when our office cleans out files?

A: Sure! Recycling staff can deliver an extra bin or two (depending on your needs) when they make their normal pick-up from your building. Please help us to help you by giving us a few days notice! THE FILLED BINS MUST BE ON A GROUND FLOOR IF YOUR BUILDING HAS NO ELEVATOR.

Q: I saw my custodian emptying the recycling bins into a large trash bag. Is all our recycling just getting trashed?

A: In residence halls and houses, custodians empty recyclables into bags and store the full bags in another part of the building until the scheduled pickup day. In offices, custodians should be emptying the landfill and recycling into separate bags for removal from the office areas; recycling is generally taken to each building's consolidated recycling bins for pickup by the Recycling Crew, while landfill is brought to the nearest dumpster or compactor. If you truly believe the recyclables are being thrown away, please contact us so that we can address the issue appropriately.

Q: Where do I get a recycling bin?

A: Contact Jenny Isler, Sustainability Coordinator. A number of different types of bins are available to service departments or buildings, and personal desk-side recycling bins. Alternatively, departments are welcome to purchase their own recycling bins; please contact us before purchasing bins so that we can ensure they will be compatible with our collection abilities.

Q: Where does all the recycling go once it leaves campus?

A: Clark's recyclable clean paper and cardborad is picked up by E.L.Harvey, a local recycling service. They process it here in MA and sell it to local paper mills. Clark's co-mingle is picked up by Waste Management. They take it to a single-stream facility, where it is separeted and sold on the open market. Clark's electronic recycling is picked up by ERI. They process it here in MA.

Q: Why can't we recycle pizza boxes?

A: Most empty pizza boxes also include grease and cheese, both of which are considered contaminants when mixed with recyclable paper. However! Soiled cardboard and soiled paper can be composted. Use the compost bins located in JSC, Dodd and Wright Halls. Please refrain from placing soiled pizza boxes in recycling bins.

Q: Do I have to rinse my containers?

A: All containers should be empty, and food containers should be rinsed clean whenever possible. Please remember that sticky or dirty containers can generate odor as well as attract insects and/or rodents. Plus the student Recycling Crew handles all of the recycling -please recycle with respect.

Q: I'm moving and I need some boxes. Are boxes available at the Recycling Center?

A: We have lots of boxes every day, but we do not hold onto them. We recycle them! Please provide a few days advance notice so that boxes can be set aside for you.

Q: My question isn't on this list of FAQ's - whom can I call?

A: Contact Jenny Isler, Sustainability Coordinator.

Q: Recycling is a lot more interesting than I thought. Where can I find more information?

A: Much information about recycling can be found on the internet. For more information on recycling in Massachusetts, visit; for more general information, visit the Environmental Protection Agency's website at