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Waste Management

The thrilling world of recycling continues to shift, which means ‘wishful recycling’ lives rampant. When someone tosses items in the recycling bin and hopes they are recyclable or think they should be recyclable, that person is a wishful recycler. While good intentioned, wishful recycling results in a contaminated recycling stream, sending perfectly good material straight to the landfill. It’s avoidable! Waste Management, Holy Cross’ waste hauler, recommends three rules

  1. Recycle all empty plastic bottles, cans, paper and cardboard.

  2. Keep food and liquid out of the recycling.

  3. No plastic bags.

With everyone's participation, Holy Cross can expand its 38% waste diversion rate.

Single-Stream Recycling

Holy Cross adopted a single-stream recycling system in 2012. Single-stream recycling is a system in which all recyclable materials (hard plastics, paper, cardboard, glass, and aluminum) are placed, unsorted, in one recycling bin. The Environmental Services team in the Facilities Department collects and transports all recycling to a container behind Loyola Hall. These materials are picked up by Waste Management and brought to a facility in Avon, Mass. for sorting. Please contact Environmental Services at x2454 if you would like to request recycling bins for your department or room and they will try to help you to develop a specific program for your area. Remember, orange bags are for trash and clear bags are for recycling. 

Note: Neither Holy Cross nor Waste Management sorts recyclables out of the trash. Sometimes you may see a custodian emptying the recycling bins into a large trash bag. All custodians are instructed to not put recyclables in the trash. In residence halls, if a bin is full, custodians will occasionally empty the bins into trash bags and store the full bags in another part of the building until they are removed from the building. In offices, custodians should be emptying the desk-side trash and recycling containers into separate trash bags on their carts. The material is then brought to the recycling area in the warehouse where it is sorted and prepared for shipment. If you truly believe the recyclables are being thrown away, please contact Environmental Services at x2454 so that we can address the issue appropriately.

Batteries and Ink Cartridges

Collection containers for batteries and ink cartridges are located in three locations on campus:

    • first floor of the Hogan Campus Center (next to the post office)

    • Dinand Library alcove

    • Kimball Dining Hall corral

Universal Waste

 The Environmental Services team (x2454) will pickup and recycling items on behalf of Holy Cross departments and offices: 

    • Light bulbs

    • Electronics

    • Monitors

    • Toner cartridges


Groups across campus compost their food and yard waste. Dining Services composts 100% of its food waste from the kitchen and the dining room. The Grounds team in the Facilities Department gives yard waste to a local farm where it becomes compost and then returns to campus for flowerbeds. Student residents in Figge Hall and Williams Hall drop off food waste at indoor freezers, which then get added to Holy Cross' larger pickup.

Reduce First

Recycling helps divert materials from landfills. However, we hope the campus community joins us in our effort to take things a step further by minimizing — or altogether avoiding — the use of materials in the first place. Some ways to reducing future waste:

  • Use tap or filtered water before opting for a water bottle

  • Purchase products with minimal or no packaging

  • Try digital marketing tactics instead of paper strategies

  • Provide useful and durable giveaways

  • Print double-sided when possible