Campus Recycling
Coordinated by the Physical Plant with assistance from the students at the Outhouse, the College is committed to a recycling program that was started in the mid-1980s.

Acceptable items:

Please rinse containers clean and remove lids or caps.

  • Plastics labeled #1-7
  • Tin
  • Aluminum
  • Cardboard
  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Phonebooks and paperbacks
  • All kinds of paper
  • Washington E-Cycle wastes (computers, monitors, TVs, laptops, tablets, e-readers, and portable DVD players)
  • Scrap metal

Unacceptable Items:

  • Used motor oil
  • Car batteries or tires
  • Used food wrappers (includes pizza boxes)
  • Glass of any kind
  • Hardback books
  • Any recyclables mixed with garbage
  • Fluorescent tubes of any kind
  • Small consumer batteries of any kind
  • Anything noted as unacceptable at Walla Walla Recycling (below)

City of Walla Walla Curbside Recycling: 
Acceptable Items:

  • Paper and mail
  • Newspaper and advertising
  • Phone Books
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Cardboard and paperboard (cereal boxes, etc.)
  • Milk and juice cartons
  • Plastic bottles and jugs (no lids or caps)
  • Aluminum cans
  • Tin or steel cans

Unacceptable Items:

  • No glass (see information below)
  • No food or soiled paper or boxes
  • No paper towels, tissues, or napkins
  • No plastic wrap, packaging, or grocery bags
  • No garbage, no food waste
  • No Styrofoam containers or pellets
  • No plastic cups, plates, utensils, or take-out containers
  • No light bulbs
  • No toxic containers (antifreeze, oil, etc.)
  • No lids or caps
  • No window glass or mirrors
  • No ceramics, dishes, glassware
  • No yard clippings or leaves

Call the Recycling Hotline at (509) 524-4503 if you have questions about whether or not something is accepted curbside or if other recycling options exist locally.

View the Walla Walla Recycling guide here.

For more information of electronic waste (e-waste) disposal, view

Who picks up what? When? Where does it all go?

The Outhouse continues an ongoing voluntary tradition of picking up the residence halls' recycling on weekends. Some smaller buildings on campus, including the interest houses, are serviced by the City's curbside pickup. All other campus buildings have their recycling picked up by a small team of student employees. Both the Outhouse volunteers and the Recycling Center employees use the same truck to drop off loads of recycling to the Recycling Center, behind the Outhouse, where a Recycling Assistant sorts and bales the waste. Whitman's recyclables are then taken to Walla Walla Recycling by the Recycling Center staff.

What's the story with glass?

Unfortunately, glass is not recyclable in Walla Walla due to a deflated market for it as a raw material. The best course of action is to reduce the amount of glass you consume and reuse it whenever applicable. When needed, put glass with other trash bound for the landfill. Glass does not decompose, and therefore does not contribute to climate change as waste. It physically breaks down into sand. 

Where does Whitman buy its paper?

  • Whitman purchases paper through a bid process. Bids are requested from several different paper companies and the company that can deliver the paper that is certified as 100% recycled to their specifications at the lowest price is what they select.
  • In the 2012 academic year campus purchased paper from Georgia Pacific. Their paper is 100% recycled SFI chain of custody certified and also sourced locally from Camas. It is the same paper that the University of Washington and Washington State University purchase.

How much paper is used?

  • Approximately 840 cases per year
  • In 2011, the Greenhouse Gas Audit calculated that 25 tons of 100% recycled paper was used. This includes the total number of cases purchased for daily use on campus, including copying and printing. Paper use was responsible for 47.3 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions in 2011.

Check out a short video on Recycled Notebooks hereThey are for sale in the bookstore. Information about the 2007 Paper Campaign can be found here.

Brief history of paper conservation
Prepared by Mike Osterman and Jed Schwendiman in March 2009

  • 2009 - GoPrint pilot launched with $50 free printing credit
  • 2008 - WCTS installs GoPrint on public-access printers
  • 2007 -  Paper Campaign recommendations to President Bridges regarding potential paper use reduction measures. The Paper Campaign also began the tradition of turning one-sided paper and old letterhead into recycled paper notebooks, known as the Paper Phoenix project.
  • 2006 - Math Dept. sets up a print-release station in Math Lab
  • 2006 - College shifts to 100% recycled content paper
  • 2005 - Conservation Committee, ASWC, Campus Greens, WCTS and President’s Council investigate print charging options
  • 2002 - WCTS staff research “Paper Waste and Social Norming,” launches “Paper Tracker” and “Think Before You Print” campaign
  • 2001 - Student member of Conservation Committee recommends installing print release stations to reduce paper waste
  • 2001 - Conservation Committee requests all printers default to duplex
  • 1999 - College purchases 30% recycled content paper (20% previous year)
  • 1994 - Laser printing becomes free of charge
  • Prior to 1994 - Laser printing $0.05/page (where available)

Campus Waste

For Earth Week 2014, the Outhouse and Campus Sustainability Coordinator organized a campus waste audit to uncover ways to improve Whitman's recycling rate. Compost and recycling were removed from landfill waste and weighed. This data will continue to be tracked over the coming years to monitor for improvements. The full results are available in this PDF

The most recent comprehensive survey of campus solid waste was conducted in 1995. The survey recorded that about 31,800 lbs of solid waste were produced during an average month in the academic year. A 2007 survey of dining hall and Reid cafe organic waste found that an average of 5,488 lbs/week were generated in a typical week across the three food service facilities. Whitman College also produces sewage waste and hazardous waste, and the recycling program collected about 300,000 lbs of recyclables in 2007, and has seen reductions to down below 200,000 lbs in 2012. Keep in mind glass is no longer collected and that a reduction in collected recyclables does not necessarily mean more is headed to the landfill. It should ideally indicate less waste is created in the first place. Remember the three Rs; reduce and reuse come before recycle.