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Northern Illinois University Recycling


(Above) Sarah Wawerski, Maxx Bernhardt, Kathryn Olson, and Ryan Foley; Members of the Green Paws Environmental Alliance and Environmental Studies Club promote the 3R's during an event on campus. 

Recycling is a community-led innitiative!  

NIU Recycling Overview

 The NIU 3R recycling program is a great way to get students, faculty, and staff thinking about how their individual actions affect sustainability efforts and to encourage students to become more involved.  During the 2011-2012 school year, the Building Services & Campus Recycling made several changes and improvements within our recycling programs to support campus sustainability.  Please click on the links for more detailed information about each recycling program.  

For a printable version of the programs overview, click HERE

General Recycling

Single stream, no sorting necessary, in designated blue bins with clear plastic lining.

Unsoiled paper products, all unbroken glass bottles, unsoiled cardboard and paper, all mixed paper and books including those with bindings and staples, aluminum cans, and all plastics are accepted excluding plastics bags, packaging and Styrofoam.  All items must be empty of liquids or food waste.

Electronics Recycling (E-waste)        

Laura Lundilius of Materials Management/Property Control is currently overseeing recycling procedures of e-waste generated by the University.  Departments should budget for the disposal of electronics and contact Property Control for proper procedures.  All non-university electronics can be recycled at a local collection event.  See the schedule of DeKalb County collection dates and locations. 

Battery Recycling

James Gable, Chemical Safety Officer of the Environmental Health and Safety Department is responsible for properly disposing of batteries. Place items to be recycled in an envelope and address to “Campus Mail/Recycle”.   Contact Dawn Fritsch at 815-753-6286 or dfritsch@niu.edu or contact James at 815-753-1610 or jgable@niu.edu with questions.

Light Bulb Recycling

Tammie Pulak, Building Services collects and sorts the various types of light bulbs used in each building for recycling.  Contact Building Services Recycling at 753-1155 for light bulb pick up or e-mail recycing@niu.edu   James Gable, Chemical Safety Officer, is in charge of properly disposing of the light bulbs.

Toner/Ink Cartridge Recycling

Toner/Ink cartridges are currently recycled through campus mail. Place items to be recycled original packaging if possible and address to “Campus Mail/Recycle”. Contact Dawn at 815-753-6286 or dfritsch@niu.edu or e-mail recycling@niu.edu with questions. 

Pens, Pencils, Markers & Misc. Office Supply Recycling

Items are recycled by the Green Team through Campus Mail similar to toner cartridges and batteries.  Place items to be recycled in an envelope and address to “Campus Mail/Recycle”.  Contact Dawn Fritsch at 815-753-6286 or dfritsch@niu.edu or the Green Team at gogreen@niu.edu.

Basic Dumpster Etiquette

  • Items must be inside the Waste Management dumpsters for pickup;
  • No overflow materials is permitted and no large furniture will be collected
  • As of January 2012, it is against Illinois State Law to dispose of electronics in the landfill
  • WM does not accept mattresses or white products such as refrigerators, washers, dryers, etc.  
  • Oil, paint, drywall, light bulbs, chemicals and hazardous materials are not accepted