Recycling & Waste Reduction

Logo: Sustainable JWU: RecyclingThe university’s extensive recycling program includes plastic films, Styrofoam, paper and plastics, metals, composting, and e-waste.

The university utilizes single-stream recycling in all of our campus buildings. In addition, plastic bags have been removed from campus stores, and reusable Wildcat logo tote bags are widely available. 

Plastic Film Recycling Program

In 2018, JWU Providence partnered with Trex, a composite decking material company, to recycle plastic films like shopping bags and plastic wrap. Since then, the university has collected more than 1,500 pounds of plastic, some of which was used by Trex for a bench that was donated back to the school.

In the video below, watch the ECO team sorting plastic bags for recycling.

Fill It Forward Program

To encourage the use of reusable tumblers and reusable water bottles, we have continued to add bottle filling stations throughout our campus buildings. Filling stations can be found in all residence halls and academic spaces, with more being installed.

In addition, all single-use cups have been removed from our eat-in dining hall, Snowden Dining.


Professor Thorsson at one of the water filling stations.

Campus Donation Campaigns 

Move Out and Donate is an annual event with the simple goal of getting students to donate their unwanted furniture, clothing, sheets and non-perishable food items to the right place, instead of just throwing them away when they move out. The campuswide campaign involves multiple JWU departments, including JWU ECO, Facilities, Residential Life, Student Services and more. Donation partners include the RI Food Bank, Providence Animal Rescue League and Big Brothers, Big Sisters, among others.

The ECO Office also coordinates with various JWU departments to reuse or recycle office furniture, desk accessories, books and other items when offices are upgraded or when staff/faculty retire or leave the university. ECO SAs will sort through for office items that can still be used; books or miscellaneous items will be donated to our partners, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Savers.

Surplus Sale

Twice a year, the ECO Office and Facilities host a surplus sale of unnecessary campus assets. This is great way to keep used but still viable items like kitchen equipment, athletic apparel, IT equipment, office furniture and much more out of the waste stream and put them into hands of our JWU community members who can use them.

Kitchen wares from the JWU warehouse sale of surplus goods.

Recycle A-Z 🌎

Wondering if a particular item is recyclable? Use the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation’s A-Z search, which allows you to look up any item to see if it’s recyclable in RI. (Keep in mind that every state has its own guidelines.)

Recycle It: A to Z