Rethink Waste

Rethink Waste at Gonzaga is a campaign led by students to promote consciousness and educate our community about waste diversion. This page will give you details regarding recycling and composting on campus.


Gonzaga now uses single-stream recycling! Any recyclable item (see list below) can be placed in any recycling bin, whether in a classroom, hallway, outside, or office.  All objects must be clean and emptied before recycling. Faculty and staff can request a small blue recycling bin for their offices from Plant Services  at


  • Newspaper
  • Printing Paper
  • Cups
  • Cartons
  • Magazines
  • Advertisements
  • Boxes


(All plastic numbers are now accepted)

  • Bottles
  • Jars
  • Cups
  • Tubs


  • Bottles


  • Cans


Composting turns organic materials ready for disposal into something beneficial; nutrient rich soil that help to grow fruitful plants. Although one may think that these items readily decompose in landfills, the decomposition process releases greenhouse gases such as methane into our atmosphere. Food and yard waste also can leach into the ground water polluting our waters. During the decomposition of organic matter, microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi create a nutrient rich substance called humus that can be harvested if separated from other wastes. The decomposition process also happens much more quickly as the compostable material is not contaminated by other waste. As such not only does composting reduce pressure on landfills, it also helps return nutrients to the soils used to sustain life!

Yard Debris

  • Grass
  • Leaves
  • Weeds
  • Pine needles
  • Pine cones 
  • Thatch
  • Vines 
  • Plant trimmings 
  • Small amounts of sod - no rocks 
  • Branches less than 3" in diameter


  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Beans  
  • Dairy products 
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables 
  • Breads
  • Grains
  • Pastas 
  • Eggshell
  • Nutshells 
  • Coffee grounds
  • Tea bags

Food-soiled Paper

  • Greasy pizza delivery boxes
  • Coffee filters 
  • Certified Compostable items (most catering items by ZagDining are compostable!)
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Paper cartons (for eggs, berries, etc)
  • Uncoated paper plates
  • Paper cups
  • Paper grocery bags with food scraps

More information about recycling:

Don't Recycle

Non-Accepted Paper

  • Food-soiled paper towels
  • Napkins and non-coated paper plates (compost these)
  • Tyvek Envelopes

Non-Accepted Plastics

  • Plastic damshel containers and deli trays
  • Plastic Plates
  • Utensils
  • Prescription Vials
  • Styrofoam

Non-Accepted Glass

  • Ceramics
  • Broken glass
  • Dishes
  • Drinking glasses
  • Windows
  • Mirrors

Non-Accepted Metal

  • Sharp metal
  • Greasy Items

Other Non-Acceptable Items

  • Clothing, Shoes (donate these)
  • Electronics (see IT in downstairs Foley)
  • Fluorescent bulbs and tubes (recycling options
  • Hoses
  • Needles, Syringes (disposal options:
  • Toxic Containers (pesticides, antifreeze, paint, oil, etc.)