What is single-stream recycling?

Single-stream recycling lets you put any recyclable into the same container. What does that mean to you? Simple, you can throw that soda bottle along with your paper into those small, blue bins in classrooms and offices. No matter where you are there is a place for you to recycle.

Single-stream recycling also allows you to recycle more. You should now be recycling plastics one through seven, instead of just ones and twos. And you can now recycle soda caps as well, but make sure the bottle is empty and rinsed.

You can find the do's (recycle your cereal box) and don'ts (the greasy pizza box) using the links to the right.

Increased Participation

With single-stream recycling all of the small, blue, recycling bins in classrooms and offices have turned into recycling stations. Any approved recyclable can be disposed in these bins, making it more convenient for people to recycle.

Before single-stream recycling individuals needed to find recycling stations (approximately 150 locations) throughout campus. The small, blue, recycling bins in classrooms and offices were reserved for paper only, requiring people to find recycling stations to properly dispose of other recyclables.

The Sustainability Task Force, Facilities Services and the Office of Residence Life will continue to educate people on the importance of recycling and how single-stream makes it easier for people to participate.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce: The best way to shrink a waste stream is to reduce consumption. Do we really need to buy something or is it merely an impulse purchase? Will this just sit in a drawer somewhere and only be used once a year or could I rent or borrow it instead? The faster we consume, the faster production lines will run, which means more and more raw materials need to be extracted from the earth. We, as individuals, have the power to slow all of this down.

Reuse: Another way to reduce waste is to use durable goods rather than disposable goods. Use a mug or traveling thermos instead of a paper cup; use a refillable water container versus buying bottled water; use a reusable tote at a store instead of a paper/plastic ba; or use eBay and Craigslist to sell what you no longer need.

Recycle: If you need to buy something and you're done using/reusing it, then recycle it. Take the extra few seconds to make sure it goes in the right bin. This will ensure that it will be recycled and remanufactured into something new.

Additional Resources

If you want to learn more about recycling, check out some of these resources:

Milwaukee Recycles - For students living off-campus, see what can and cannot be recycled by the Milwaukee Department of Public Works

Off-Campus Recyling Guide


Earth 911

National Recycling Coalition

Grassroots Recycling Network

Recycler's World

Recycle More Wisconsin


June 2012






Contact the Office of Sustainability

Is this site missing any information you would like to see? Is it missing your program or another program on campus that should be featured? Do you have suggestions for making Marquette a more sustainable university? If so, please contact us:

Email: sustainability@marquette.edu
Phone: 414-288-1463