Sustainability in Action: Recycling at CPTC

What is recycling?

Recycling is the process of making or manufacturing new products from a product that has originally served its purpose. What does that mean for the staff and students at Clover Park Technical College? Through the efforts of the college community disposing of items made from materials such as aluminum, plastic water bottles, and certain kinds of paper in the college’s recycling bins instead of regular trash cans, the recyclable items can be taken to a waste management company for reuse in making new products.

Why recycle?

With little effort, CPTC staff and students can keep recyclable items out of the landfill and reduce their carbon footprint. Recycling is good for the environment. It takes less energy to create new items from recycled materials than it does to create new products from raw materials. Mining minerals and milling trees into lumber requires vast amounts of energy. Recycling allows us to reuse materials many times to conserve natural resources while creating the products we use in our everyday life.

How does the college community recycle?

Pierce County Refuse provides recycling services for businesses. The college has 96-gallon recycling totes located throughout campus for commingle recycling. Commingle is for mixed paper, newspaper, tin, aluminum, plastic bottles, and cardboard. Our Maintenance Department periodically takes other recyclables to our local recycling center, such as metals, glass, cardboard and large quantities of recyclables.

What is the schedule?

The recycling totes are emptied every other Wednesday, and our custodians move the bins to designated areas on campus the Tuesday night prior to the scheduled pick-up time.

Did you know?

Alkaline batteries are not often recycled even though some metal can be reclaimed. The batteries have been collected for disposal as hazardous material because of the mercury ingredient; however, these batteries contain only a fraction of mercury as they once did. Feel free to dispose of these types of batteries in the trash. The Maintenance Department will recycle the large brick-type batteries. For more information about recyclable materials, visit the State of Washington Department of Ecology website at

What to include in recycling bin:

  • Plastic containers (empty, no lids)
  • Paper and cardboard (clean, dry)
  • Aluminum and tin cans (empty, no loose lids, do not crush)

Further recycling updates coming soon.