Sustainability: Waste

Recycle Sign
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Directions for Recycling at Wartburg College

You probably heard of the 3 R’s of waste reduction (reduce, reuse, recycle) but there are actually 5 R’s at Wartburg College. They should be considered in this order too.

  1. Refuse – if you don’t need it don’t take/get it
  2. Reduce – only take what you really need, you can almost always get more
  3. Repair – just because it may be inexpensive to get it new, repair will keep it out of the landfill
  4. Reuse – if you are done with it, maybe someone else can use it
  5. Recycle – if there are no other options, recycle, keep it out of the landfill

Recycling at Wartburg College

What is recycling?
Wartburg College has acquired a compromise with sustainability. To achieve this goal we recognize the importance of recycling. Recycling consist on taking a material and using a prime material in the making of a new product. It is important because it reduces the pressure on natural resources and reduces the space required in landfills.

Think about an every day product like paper, it generally comes from trees and once its lifetime is over, it goes to a landfill. This creates a linear system where we lose resources and get trash. Thus, one of the solutions is clearly to reintroduce as much as possible discarded materials to the system.

What are Redeemable containers?
Some products come in containers that are redeemable. According to the law of 14 states, including Iowa, every time someone buys certain products, they are paying a $0.05 deposit, that can be redeemed if they return the container. In Iowa this applies to all beverages that are carbonated or contain alcohol. The Bottle Bill law was created as a way to promote recycling, and it has indeed brought very positive results. Not all the containers are redeemable, check the label.

Electronic Waste Recycling
Electronic Waste are all those product that are powered by electricity, this includes, cell phones, laptops, cables, As part of the recycling program, Wartburg offers the collection of electronic materials. During special events, the Sustainability Office makes collection of electronic products that could be recycled. Click here for more information (PDF).

What do we do with our recycling?
Once the material has been placed in any recycling bin, is collected and taken to a facility where it is classified. Redeemable materials are taken to the X in Waverly, were they pay for the volume of the materials, the money collected from this is managed by the Sustainability Office. The materials that are not redeemables are taken to the Recycle Center in Waverly, where they compact it and distribute to people interested in using it.

Waste Reduction
Bring your own, either a bottle or cup for drinking or silverware to eat in the Den.
Participate in eco challenges, events and clubs on campus.
Ask for 100 percent recycled paper at the print center.
Buy school supplies, like refillable or EarthWrite recycled pencils, recycled folders, notebooks, etc.
When planning your campus events follow the “Sustainable Event Planning Guide.”
Sign up to “Be Green Certified” with the Sustainability Office to learn more about your solid waste.

On-Campus Recycling
To help you reduce your contribution to the landfill we have provided easily accessible recycling stations next to each residence hall and in every academic building. We hope that you take the time to find one of the multiple recycling stations close to you. Your impact is bigger than you realize.
The college partners with the City of Waverly and City Carton to recycle:

  • White paper
  • Colored paper
  • Magazines
  • Glossy paper
  • Newspaper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastics (#1-7)
  • Glass (clear)
  • Tin cans
  • Aluminum
  • Redemption (Pop/alcohol bottles and cans)

All items to be recycled need to be clean of all trash or food debris, this includes grease and oil. Staples in paper are okay.



Each year, unwanted office supplies are donated to local thrift stores, recycled, or thrown away. REUSE(D) is the Sustainability Office’s effort to keep gently used office supplies in the Wartburg Community. The room is open to students, faculty, and staff. Wartburg community members can pick up supplies free of charge.

Collect unwanted, gently used office supplies from your office/room. E-mail to arrange a time to pick/drop off the items. The Sustainability Office will sort and shelf items.

Before buying new, stop by the REUSE(D) room to see if the item you are looking for has been donated
Take supplies that you need free of charge! If you find you don’t need them, simply return them.

What We Collect
The below list is not comprehensive, just ideas. If you have items that are not listed we encourage you to bring them to the Sustainability Office. If we think the item has the potential to be reused we will shelf it. If not, the Sustainability Office will make sure that it is recycled, donated to a local thrift store, or disposed in a manner that will have minimal effect on our environment.

  • Binders
  • Notebooks/ Paper
  • Folders
  • Staplers and Tape Dispensers
  • Scissors
  • Three Hole Punchers
  • Staples and Tape
  • Pens and Pencils
  • Envelopes
  • Office Organizers
  • Markers, Crayons and Colored Pencils
  • Paper Clips, Rubber Bands and Pins


Cans for a Cause
Cans for a cause is a program that gives student organizations around Wartburg College an opportunity to help with campus sustainability while earning money for their organization. Student groups volunteer to collect redeemable cans from around campus, in return the student organization will receive the deposits from the cans.

All Coordination is lead through the Volunteer Action Center.


Where to Recycle

Academic & Business Buildings - You will find recycling stations on nearly every floor in each building across campus.

Residence Halls - There are recycling stations accessible to every residence hall on Wartburg’s campus. In Grossman and Löhe the recycling stations are on each floor. In The Residence they are outside the lounge. In all other halls they are located outside near the dumpsters. Click here for a map of residence hall recycling station locations.

Did you know Iowa has a Bottle Bill Law?
This means when you buy alcohol or carbonated drinks you are charged a 5 cent deposit per container. You get the deposit back by returning the empty container to a redemption center. The law is intended to decrease landfill waste.

You can also put your empty cans and bottles into a redeemable container on campus. The money collected helps support student organizations through Cans for a Cause.

What about the “other” stuff?
Some items are not accepted in recycling bins around campus, but they can still be recycled in the Waverly area. The list below provides locations for recycling additional items that either reuse the recycled product, or use the product’s materials:

  • Ink cartridges: Cartridges can be dropped at the Copy Center. The Copy Center is located south of the Information desk in the Saemann Student Center. Ask your retail store if they will refill ink cartridges. Often this is advertised at a cheaper price where available, and you must have a receipt of purchase of your ink cartridges.
  • Electronics: Goodwill and Best Buy will accept most electronics. Goodwill in Waverly is located at 400 Technology Place SW. Best Buy is in Waterloo at 2541 Crossroads Blvd.
  • CFLs: Keep an eye for collection events on Sustainability at Wartburg College’s facebook page, as well as advertised through email.
  • Cell Phones: Miller True Value accepts these through the call2recycle program. Miller True Value is located at 1201 4th St SW in Waverly.
  • Rechargeable batteries: Miller True Value accepts these through the call2recycle program. Miller True Value is located at 1201 4th St SW in Waverly.
  • Non-rechargeable batteries, Car batteries, Household Hazardous Materials: This can be taken by Bremer county residents to Bremer County Regional Collection Center 2049 200th Street Waverly, IA 50677.

Not from Waverly and want to learn where to recycle at home? Visit for a national database of recycling.