Recycling FAQs

Accessibility is one of the most common reasons people give for why they do not recycle. For this reason, Lake Forest College strives to make recycling easy and accessible everywhere on campus. There are recycling dumpsters near every building and blue recycling bins in every dorm room and in various locations inside every building on campus. However, accessibility is only half of the battle; knowing how and what to recycle is just as important!

All recycling bins on campus are commingled.

This means that paper, plastic, metal, and glass can all be recycled together in the same bin instead of being placed into separate bins for each different kind of recyclable material. While commingled recycling makes recycling simpler by eliminating the need to sort your own recyclables, there are still some dos and don’ts that should be understood.

What is recyclable on campus?


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


  • Aluminum cans
  • Food trays


  • All clear or colored bottles


  • Any container labeled Plastic #1-7 (all plastic food containers sold on campus by Parkhurst are recyclable)

Some items are recyclable, but cannot be recycled in the commingled recycling bins.

Plastic Bottle Caps
Plastic bottle caps can be taken to Lillard 125 where the Environmental Studies Department will collect them and bring them to the correct location to be specially recycled. 

Batteries are no longer made with mercury so they are less dangerous to dispose of in the trash. However, they still can and should be recycled! Recycling alkaline batteries is as easy as mailing in your old batteries in to Everlights in Skokie. 

Plastic Shopping Bags
Plastic shopping bags can be taken to Jewel Osco on Western Ave in town and put in the designated receptacle or dropped off at Lillard 125 where the Environmental Studies Department will collect them to be upcycled or recycled.

For more information on what needs to be recycled by an outside source click here.

Please be careful not to contaminate our bins!

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 and the materials will all end up in a landfill instead of being recycled.

Items that will contaminate our bins include:

  • 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)
  • Plastic bottle caps
  • Anything that is not glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, tin or aluminum

For more information on what NOT to recycle click here.