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About Us

Recycling FAQs

Lake Forest strives to stand out by doing all that we can to reduce our waste.

Every year we see landfills grow to astronomical sizes. We struggle to find places to put all the trash that is generated. Before we knew about contamination, we would throw the trash into lakes, rivers, and oceans. 

• Click here to download a list of what is and is not recyclable!
• Learn more about LEAP and the Department of Environmental Studies!

All recycling bins on campus are commingle.

What does commingle mean? To mix or be mixed; blend.

What does that mean for Lake Forest College’s waste management policy? Paper, plastic, metal, and glass can all be recycled together in every container on campus.

What is recyclable on campus?


  • Newspapers, Magazines, and Catalogs
  • Office Paper (staples and envelopes with windows included)
  • Cereal Boxes
  • Hot Beverage Containers


  • Soda and Beer Cans
  • Food trays


  • All clear or colored bottles


  • Any container labeled Plastic #1-7: Clean Yogurt Containers, Detergent, Shampoo, and Bleach Bottles


What are other items that are recyclable that aren’t on this list?

Bottle caps.

Bottle caps can be recycled separately in the student center or library in the cardboard boxes placed next to the regular recycling bins. LEAP specially recycles these with a different company.


Batteries can be recycled separately in the library in blue tubes. The ends must be taped before being placed in the bin.

What makes the recycling containers contaminated?

Contamination of recycling bins leads to rejection from our provider of the materials. This means that we then have to pay to have it specially removed by our trash provider. If we (as a community) would like to better our recycling efforts, we need to cut down on the contamination. These items will contaminate our bins:

* Any food product (i.e. left over pizza, unrinsed Naked juice bottles, etc) generally anything over 5% food residue will cause the entire container’s rejection
* Steel (shaving cream cans, etc.)
* Bubble wrap
* Styrofoam (even the stuff that comes in the recyclable boxes)
* The lids from all plastic bottles
* Anything that is not glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, tin or aluminum.

Where do we recycle?

Buildings around campus have blue recycling bins. All of our bins are commingle, meaning that you can mix various recyclable products within the same container. The Mohr Student Center has new blue bin tops and labels!