Pepperdine's Campus Wide Recycling Program | Pepperdine University

Pepperdine's Campus Wide Recycling Program



New Recycling Program

In August 2016, Pepperdine transitioned to a new waste and recycling system on the Malibu campus. Since 2000 we have utilized a recycling program where all materials are disposed of in one bin and sorted and separated off-site. Our vendor is no longer willing to service the Malibu region, so we are moving to a new vendor and a new type of recycling program. The new program requires each member of our community to separate recyclable items from materials headed for the landfill.

What is Recyclable?

Paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, and metals are recyclable. But not all materials are created equal. With paper and cardboard, clean items are generally recyclable while soiled items (e.g. a used cardboard food container) are trash. Additionally, flimsy paper products such as tissues, napkins, and paper towels are not recyclable. Our recycling vendor accepts plastics 1 through 7 as labeled on the bottom of the item, but an easy rule of thumb is that if the plastic item holds its shape when squeezed (e.g., plastic water bottle), it is recyclable. The item is trash if it does not hold its shape (e.g., plastic wrap, chip bags, and candy wrappers). 


Because the vast majority of what is disposed of in an office environment is recyclable, we are transitioning personal trash cans into mixed recycling cans in all office locations. A mixed recycling sticker will now be placed on existing trash cans, and we ask that employees dispose of non-recyclables, food waste, and liquids into their break rooms or kitchenettes. We are adding a second receptacle for recycling into each of these common spaces to accompany the existing trash can. Please dispose of trash and food waste in the trash can and pour liquids down the drain.

The Center for Sustainability will provide a small trash can to hang on a work space's repurposed recycling can for employees who do not have reasonable access to a kitchenette or break room. To request a hanging trash attachment for your workspace, please complete the trash receptacle attachment request form.  

Classrooms, Residence Halls, and Conference Rooms

All classrooms, residence halls, and conference rooms will have a recycling can and trash can. Recycling cans will be designated with a recycling sticker.

Download the handout here.


Download the handout here.


Exterior Trash Cans

Not all areas will need to have dual trash and recycling cans. The majority of what is disposed of in many areas of campus is recyclable, while other areas contain primarily trash. Prior to deciding where to implement dual bins throughout the campus, the Center for Sustainability will first identify disposal habits in each area.

When In Doubt, Throw It Out

We realize it will take time for every community member to learn the specific details of this new program. If you are unsure of where to dispose of an item, and you don't have time to call us, throw it away. Every recycling program has some level of contamination built into it, especially in its beginning phases. Our job is to educate you, and we will work with you in the coming months to ensure that you know what goes where.

Contact Us

We encourage all faculty, staff, and students to contact us with any questions or comments. We greatly appreciate your anticipated support and participation in our new program. Please email Emily Mead, Coordinator for the Center for Sustainability, at with any questions or comments. 

Green Waste Recycling

All on-campus tree trimmings and most brush clearance debris are "chipped" and reused to create pathways and for weed suppression. Any unused brush clearance debris is composted and replaces fertilizer in many areas on campus.

Construction Recycling

Construction waste is highly recyclable, and Pepperdine works to maximize our diversion of these materials. During new building projects, Pepperdine's average diversion rate for construction waste is 80%. Since a large portion of construction waste can be recycled, Pepperdine ensures that it maintains a high diversion rate.

Proper Waste Disposal

The University properly disposes of motor oils and other universal wastes to prevent any adverse environmental impact. The creation of a Freon "recycling" system, allows Pepperdine to recapture and reuse Freon, reducing consumption and improving air quality. Batteries and e-waste must be disposed of properly, or they will leach toxic chemicals into groundwater. As such, Pepperdine provides containers throughout campus for collection of used batteries. E-waste can be disposed through the Department of Facilities Services.