How to recycle on MSU's campus

Michigan State University is actively working to reduce overall campus waste through a variety of efforts, and one essential component of that strategy is recycling. With key resources like residence hall recycling stations and the MSU Recycling Center, campus recycling has never been more accessible – but to divert maximum waste from the landfill, MSU needs the help of each and every Spartan. For the latest updates and to download the MSU Surplus Store & Recycling Center app to access the Waste Wizard, visit MSU Recycling

Become a Waste Warrior

Through reuse, recycling and composting, MSU currently diverts about 50% of general building refuse away from the landfill. In the next five years, we aim to increase the campus diversion rate to 70%. To reach this goal, MSU Recycling is recruiting Waste Warriors – MSU faculty and staff who pledge to take a more active role in managing campus waste as a resource. Any staff or faculty member can sign up to be a Waste Warrior. Learn more about the Waste Warriors Program from MSU Recycling. Students interested in reducing waste within their residence halls should connect with their building Eco Rep

Hallway recycling stations


Mixed Paper - orange

The "Mixed Paper" receptacle takes all types of paper including newspaper and inserts, corrugated cardboard, boxboard (snack and frozen food boxes), magazines/catalogs, phone books/directories, junk mail, all types of envelopes, post-it notes, ream wrappers, cards and other paper materials.

Plastic/Metal - purple

The "Plastic/Metal" receptacle collects water bottles, jugs, grocery bags, frozen food trays, steel/tin/aluminum cans (soup, veggie, coffee cans), aluminum foil and bakeware, bottle caps, jar lids, aluminum cans, wire and other materials. If you are confused whether your plastic product is recyclable, turn the product over and look for the recycling symbol (a triangle with a number 1-7 in it.) At MSU, we recycle all plastics 1-7.

  • Be sure to clean food particles off of materials before recycling.
  • Empty liquids from materials before recycling.

Office Paper - blue

The "Office Paper" receptacle takes computer paper, letterhead, notebook paper, tablet white paper, copy paper (all colors) and index cards. Paper with staples or ink are acceptable.

Residence hall recycling stations

MSU offers a comprehensive recycling program in the residence halls. Materials collected include:

  • White and Mixed paper
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard and Boxboard
  • Magazines, books, catalogs, directories
  • Plastics #1-#7
  • Household metal
  • Glass

Recycling centers are generally found in building lobbies.

Office space recycling

MSU Recycling offers free recycling containers for office spaces, making it easier for faculty and staff to sort material. These containers can be ordered online from MSU Recycling and delivered directly to your department. 

Recycling Drop-Off Center

Select buildings on campus collect materials such as glass jars and bottles, but many are not yet equipped with these specialized stations. Glass and other recyclables can be taken to MSU's Recycling Drop-Off Center, located on the corner of Farm Lane and Green Way.

Items that are not accepted at the drop-off center can be recycled through many outside sources, visit Earth911 for recycling solutions.

Donating items to the MSU Surplus Store

The MSU Surplus Store collects unwanted items and materials from the MSU community and makes them available for resale at low prices, usually to other MSU departments. Departments purchasing used items save money and reduce the university’s overall environmental impact. The public may also purchase items for reuse during public sale hours or online.