Stewardship of the environment is an essential part of what we do in Facilities Management. Through Duke Recycles, Duke diverts a variety of traditional recyclables, like magazines and plastic bottles, as well as non-traditional recyclables, such as food waste and scrap metal, from the landfill. 

Duke Recycles collects more than 1,500 bins in over 160 buildings and points of interest across campus. Recycling receptacles are located in centralized, high-traffic areas to ensure accessibility to all members of the university community.

Duke Recycles also functions as the information center for waste management and reduction initatives and inquiries. Please review our list of frequently asked questions for help with common concerns and requests. For additional support, please contact Duke Recycles at (919) 660-1448.

What Can Be Recycled?

Duke University supports single-stream recycling, which means that paper, cardboard, metal, plastic and glass products can be commingled in any recycling bin on campus. See a full list of what can and cannot be recycled at Duke


Duke Recycles offers several services to assist with the recycling needs of students, faculty and staff. For more information or to request a service, call (919) 660-1448.

Mini-Bin Program

Duke has introduced a deskside/mini-bin program to divert more recyclables away from the landfill. In this system, the larger blue bin is for mixed recyclable material, and the smaller black attachment is for trash. Users are asked to empty their individual containers into a larger, centralized one as needed.

Move In

When students move into their dorms each fall, Duke Recycles collects vast quantities of cardboard boxes from across campus. Prior to students' arrival, Duke Recycles, sets up cardboard-collection areas outside each dorm. During the two-week period of student move-in, Duke Recycles services the corrals and recycles the cardboard.

Move-Out for Charity

Each spring, for the two-week period of move-out, Duke Recycles partners with TROSA and Goodwill to accept donations of clothes, shoes, furniture, appliances and many other vital resources. Items students contribute during this period are redistributed to the local community through the partner organizations.

K-Ville Campout

Duke Recycles provides recycling bins outside Cameron Indoor Stadium for die-hard fans living in tents to secure tickets for Duke home asketball games.

Special Events Recycling

Recycling and/or compost bins can be provided to accommodate any special event that may be taking place on campus.

Clean-Out Bins

High-volume recycling bins are available by request for clean-outs, faculty retirements and/or intra-campus moves.

Education & Outreach

Duke Recycles offers programs to help educate the Duke community on sustainabilty efforts. For more information, call (919) 660-1448.

Zero Waste Game Day

In 2014, Duke Athletics, in partnership with Duke Recycles and Sustainable Duke, launched the Zero Waste Game Day program to achieve 90% or greater diversion of all waste generated at each home football game. This goal is accomplished through widespread recycling, composting and waste reduction programs across all active areas on game day -- including the stadium concourse and bowl, Blue Devil Tower, tailgate lots and K-ville. Vendors inside the stadium have made substantial efforts to switch their packaging to recyclable and compostable alternatives. Successful awareness and education initiatives include Athletics account social media takeovers, volunteers distributing bag wraps through tailgating areas and educators posted at each waste station on the concourse to help fans sort their waste. In the 2015 season, Duke became the first school in the ACC to achieve zero waste on a game day with a 94% diversion during the University of Pittsburgh game. Zero Waste Game Day continues to improve each year, with the ultimate goal of consistently reaching 90% diversion.

Campus Sustainability Committee

The Campus Sustainability Committee (CSC), is a standing committee apoointed by the university President. It is responsible for making recommendations to guide campus sustainability policies, championing Duke's sustainability initiatives and communicating them to each membe's respective constituencies, in order to foster a more sustainable campus community. The committee is comprised of students, faculty and administration.