Recycling at Stanford

Almost any household product
Use the recycling bins near your residence (and in undergraduate residence hall rooms) to recycle almost everything you use on a day-to-day basis: cans and bottles; any paper that tears, including books; plastic bags and bubble wrap; corrugated cardboard and brown paper bags.

Computers, printer cartridges, phones, calculators
You can recycle almost any electronic waste - including your defunct computer monitor, television, laptop computer, fax machine, printer, copier, VCR, plasma screen, printer cartridges, phones, and calculators.

Drop e-waste off at the Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc. office (321-4236), 339 Bonair Siding. Hours are 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You will need your ID/proof of residence at Stanford.

Get answers to commonly asked questions about E-waste.

You also can recycle E-waste at:

Polystyrene blocks and peanuts
Take them to a UPS store, post office, or mail center for reuse. Some students take peanuts to day care centers for children to use in art projects.

Scrap metal, wood, and yard waste
Take these items to the Stanford Recycling Drop-Off Center at 701 Serra Street. Please presort all materials before you place them in bins.

Mercury thermometers
Mercury thermometers are prohibited in all Student Housing residences. However, many health clinics, pharmacies and doctor’s offices have thermometer exchange programs and will give you a new mercury-free fever thermometer in exchange for your old one.

Athletic shoes
Drop off your (relatively clean and dry) sneakers and athletic shoes for reuse and recycling at the Stanford Recycling Drop-off Center, 701 Serra Street. Please tie the shoes together for easier sorting.

Your bicycle
"Recycle Your Cycle" rather than abandon your bike. Registered bike owners can drop off their bicycles at the Department of Public Safety (DPS).

DPS donates the bikes to local charities or makes them available at no cost to university departments.

To donate your bicycle, email or call 732-9633.

Batteries and other household hazardous waste
Never use hazardous materials such as gasoline or other flammable liquid, paint thinner, or corrosive materials near a residence. Also, do not put batteries or other hazardous waste items in the garbage or curbside recycling bins. These materials - known as "universal hazardous waste" - need to be recycled or properly disposed of away from landfill sites.

You can recycle or dispose of:

  • Small A, C, D cell alkaline batteries. Please dispose of these batteries in the five-gallon white Battery buckets found at some residence recycling areas, or in one-gallon containers in some computer clusters.

  • Automotive and industrial batteries. Local businesses such as Orchard Supply Hardware, Kragen Auto Parts, and Radio Shack accept batteries for safe disposal.

  • Fluorescent lamps, including low-mercury lamps; compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), straight, circular, spiral and U-bent tubes. The Environmental Protection Agency prohibits disposal in landfills of any fluorescent bulbs; for a list of drop-off locations, visit or contact the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program (408-299-7300).

  • Motor oil. Changing automotive fluids is not allowed at Stanford residences. Do not pour motor oil on the ground or down any drain; take used motor oil to an automotive service business for proper disposal.

  • Other universal and hazardous waste including gasoline, paint thinner, garden chemicals, corrosive materials, and explosives. For a list of drop-off locations, visit or contact the Santa Clara County Household Hazardous Waste Program.

Contact your Housing Supervisor or Regional Housing Manager if you have questions about using or storing hazardous materials.

Everything else
You can find a recycling center for almost everything: ovens, dishwashers, furniture in usable condition, hazardous waste, yard waste, chemicals, and more at Its search engine will find places where you can recycle and reuse stuff, including Goodwill, American Cancer Society Discovery Shops, Urban Ministries, and recycling centers that specialize in certain materials and items.

Last modified Fri, 9 Mar, 2012 at 17:44