Recycling & Waste Disposal at Muhlenberg College

Office of Campus SustainabilityAs part of our commitment to minimizing our environmental footprint, we have expanded our recycling program and are sending our trash to a waste-to-energy facility. Waste-to –energy plants produce less CO2 per ton of garbage than a landfill and are designated as renewable energy generators by the USEPA. Our main campus is thus now landfill-free.

On campus, all recycling goes into one bin. Sustainable Waste Solutions’ (SWS) recycling plant will mechanically sort the single-Office of Campus Sustainabilitystream recyclables into separate paper, plastic (1-7), metal and glass groups. To determine if a piece of plastic is recyclable, look for the number in the triangle and follow the guidelines to the left.You will see new dumpsters and receptacles as part of our new program.

Blue = Recycling
Green = Trash

Office of Campus Sustainability

It’s Recyclable If:

  • It tears, and its paper (used to be the wax coating would prevent milk cartons and food boats from being recycled - now the process can separate out the wax)
  • It’s a #1-7 plastic EXCEPT Styrofoam & PVC (not in food products)
  • It’s an aluminum or metal foil, food or beverage can
  • It’s a glass food & beverage container
  • It’s mostly clean, empty and loose

It’s Trash if:

  • It’s a plastic bag or other thin plastic material similar to a bag (ex. chip bags, soy sauce packets, most plastic food wrapping). They are too thin and will tangle in the machinery
  • It’s very thin paper material (paper towels, napkins, toilet paper). They are also too thin and will tangle in the machinery
  • It’s a "mixed" item with more than one recyclable element (ex. Pringles cans have foil, paper and plastic, soy milk boxes as well)

Need more info?

Contact Natalie Sobrinski, sustainability specialist at for the latest information

Need a recycling bin?

Contact Jim Bolton, Plant Operations at, x3400

New and Improved!

Changes to the Muhlenberg College recycling program for 2011-2012:

  • Any paper that tears is recyclable including those which “tear white” – milk cartons, food boats
  • Books are recyclable

Off-Campus Recycling

City of Allentown Recycling: Resources for those living off-campus

Earth 911: Searchable web site for a variety of recycling and re-use locations

Freecycle: Keep items out of landfills by giving away what you don't need and asking for what you do need. There are various other swap sites for specific items online — do a Google search!