Recycling and Waste Management

Alfred State takes seriously its responsibility to minimize waste and we are regularly working to improve our recycling and waste management systems. This webpage provides answers to common questions about recycling and waste management on campus. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please send it to

Why should I recycle?

Recycling saves energy and prevents pollution
The amount of energy saved differs by material, but making a product from recycled materials typically takes much less energy than making the same product from raw materials. It also prevents pollution and habitat destruction associated with extracting and processing of raw materials.

Recycling creates jobs
Recycling supports businesses that haul, process, and broker recovered materials, as well as companies that manufacture and distribute products made with these recycled materials. Overall, recycling creates many more jobs per ton of material processed than does combustion or landfilling.

Recycling reduces pressure on landfills
The Allegany County Landfill in Angelica is almost full and is expected to reach capacity within three to five years. At that time, the county will have to ship its waste elsewhere which is likely to increase disposal costs. Recycling will help keep the landfill open longer and reduces the need to expand and/or create new landfills.

Recycling reduces costs
It costs Alfred State more to send a ton of garbage to the landfill than it does to send a ton of recyclables to a recovery facility.

Where does Alfred State's recycling go?

Glass, plastic, and metal cans are hauled to a sorting facility in Buffalo and eventually sold to companies that will make them into something new.

Cardboard and paper from campus is taken to the college farm, where it is shredded and used as bedding for our cows. It is then spread on the fields where it composts. To maintain the farm's Organic certification, only uncolored and non-glossy cardboard can be used in this way. Colored or glossy paper and cardboard are sorted by shredder staff and are taken to the sorting facility in Buffalo with the other recyclables.

What should I put in the cardboard recycling areas at Alfred State?

Accepted: Clean and flattened corrugated cardboard and boxboard (including glossy and colored cardboard*). Staples and labels are fine but removing tape is appreciated.

Not accepted: Any cardboard that is contaminated with food, paint, or other substances (e.g. powder detergent boxes and greasy pizza boxes) and cardboard that has been waxed or coated (e.g. milk cartons and frozen food boxes).

*Although colored and glossy cardboard cannot be used for cow bedding at the college farm (to preserve the farm’s Organic certification), it is recyclable so ACES and Facilities Services staff manually separate it out. Please do not throw colored and glossy cardboard in the trash.

What should I put in the paper recycling receptacles at Alfred State?

Accepted: newspapers, magazines, catalogs, copy paper (white or colored*), lined paper, phone books, and junk mail. Box board (e.g. cereal boxes) can be put in either the paper receptacles or cardboard areas. Staples are fine.

Not accepted: napkins, tissue paper, paper towels, wax paper, wrapping paper, and any paper products that have been contaminated with food, paint, or other substances.

*Although colored and glossy paper cannot be used as cow bedding at the college farm (to preserve the farm’s Organic certification), it still recyclable so facilities staff manually separate out colored and glossy paper at the shredder. Please do not throw colored or glossy paper in the trash. To reduce the time involved in sorting paper, we appreciate efforts try to phase out use of colored and glossy paper where possible.

What should I put in the glass recycling receptacles at Alfred State?

Accepted: glass bottles and jars of any color, rinsed out and without lids. Labels do not need to be removed.

Not accepted: lightbulbs, mirror and window glass, and drinking glasses or other glassware.

What should I put in the plastic recycling receptacles at Alfred State?

Accepted: rinsed out plastic containers labeled #1-#7, including plastic containers, bottles and jugs, including milk and water jugs, laundry detergent containers, shampoo & hair care containers, and yogurt and butter tubs.

Not accepted: styrofoam, deli containers, microwave containers, plastic bags, food wrappers, toys, anti-freeze containers, motor oil containers, Tupperware, and any plastic container contaminated with food or other substances.

What should I put in the can recycling receptacles at Alfred State?

Accepted: rinsed out steel, tin and aluminum cans, including soda cans, soup cans, pet food cans, fruit and vegetable cans; and juice cans. Lids and labels are okay.

Not accepted: aerosol cans, aluminum foil, batteries, and any metal container contaminated with food or other substances.

What should I put in my deskside recycling bin?

Unless you have chosen to participate in the Mini Bin program, the deskside recycling bins are only for mixed paper.

If you are participating in the Mini Bin program, you are responsible for taking your deskside recycling bin to a centralized recycling stations located throughout the building. Since you are emptying it yourself, you may put any type of recyclable in your deskside bin. Please just be sure to sort everything into the correct place when you take the bin to the centralized station.

How can I get a deskside recycling bin?

If your office does not have a deskside recycling bin and you would like one, please contact We will get one out to you as soon as possible.

What is the Mini Bin program and how does it work?

The Mini Bin program is a voluntary waste reduction initiative available to offices in the Student Leadership Center. In this program, regular office trash bins are replaced with smaller “Mini Bins.” The smaller size of these bins serves as a tangible reminder that most office waste can and should be recycled rather than thrown away. Indeed, the size of the Mini-Bin makes it awkward to place a bottle, can or a sheet of paper into it. Participants in the program also take responsibility for emptying their own trash and recycling bins into larger centralized stations. This further encourages employees to be more mindful of waste and seek opportunities to reduce it.

This program has been implemented successfully at many other campuses, including University of Maryland, Appalachian State, University, University of Texas at San Antonio, and Clemson University. Switching to a Mini Bin system is reported to have resulted in significantly less waste, increased recycling, and substantial cost savings at many of these locations.

How can I participate in the Mini Bin program?

At this time, the Mini Bin program is only available to occupants of the Student Leadership Center. It may be offered in other parts of campus as we add recycling stations to new buildings.

How can I reduce waste?

There are hundreds of ways to reduce waste. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Carry a reusable bottle of water instead of buying bottled water
  • Print only what you need and when you do print, print double sided
  • Reuse paper that is blank on one side for notes
  • Purchase items with limited packaging
  • Take your own reusable bags when you to the store
  • Use washable plates, cups, and utensils instead of disposables