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.

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.


Our new recycling program officially starts on August 15, which is also the day we are asking every member of our community to start separating trash from recyclables. We will continually assess the program from that point forward to determine what additional elements to bring on board.

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.

E-Waste and Battery Recycling

Surplus E-waste items may be picked up by request through the I.T. Help Desk, these items will then be donated to Hope for Homeless Youth.

Used batteries can be dropped off at the following collection locations so that they can be properly recycled or disposed of.

Battery Recycling Locations





Payson Library


If you are not recycling your ewaste properly, there are many negative repercussions that may follow. 

 Where Does Improperly Recycled Ewaste Go

Many people are unaware of what is in their electronics. 

Recycling Cellphones Recovers Precious Metals

Be sure to properly recycle your electronics. Be part of the solution in ending toxic waste.

Ewaste is the fastest municipal waste stream in America

Salvation Army Clothing Recycling

Salvation Army clothing recycling bins are located by the crossroads (standard residence hall area), the Drescher Campus Apartment roundabout and the George Page Commons. Proceeds from the sale of donated items help fund Adult Rehabilitation Centers, which provide substance abusers and others struggling with various forms of life issues with the necessary tools to re-enter society and live productive lives.

Toner Cartridge Recycling

Pepperdine separately recycles toner cartridges through the Tech Central department located on the second floor of the Payson library.

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 at Crown Disposal, which replaces fertilizer in many areas on campus. Of the Malibu campus that is actively managed by FMP, 20% is managed completely "organically" or without fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals.

Reduction in Dining Waste

Pepperdine utilizes a point system for students to buy their meals throughout the year, instead of an open buffet style, significantly reducing the amount of food waste. Dining services provides non-disposable plates and cutlery thereby minimizing the use of disposable items. Users of our dining facilities are encouraged not to take disposable containers and cutlery unless they are taking their meals off-site.

Reusable aluminum water bottles are offered at a discounted price to encourage students not to use disposable cups. Styrofoam is prohibited throughout campus and has been replaced by biodegradable to-go containers.

In 2013, Dining Services introduced the Green Box, a reusable alternative to the disposable to-go boxes. For more information, visit Food.

Reduction in Office Waste

Where applicable departments have their printers set to double sided printing. Offices are also encouraged to use rechargeable batteries for their electronics. Office furniture no longer in use is sent to a warehouse where it can be refurbished and reused by other faculty and staff.

Construction Recycling

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.

Use of Recycled Materials


Over 99% of campus irrigation uses reclaimed water, which would otherwise require "new" or potable water. Pepperdine stores the reclaimed water in two lakes on campus. The sludge at the bottom of the lakes is cleaned out and put into large sacks that drain the water leaving a natural fertilizer that can be used on campus.

Carpet Tiles

Several projects, including the Thornton Administrative Center first floor renovation, have utilized Interface Flor carpet tiles. This is a new direction for the University as this is a product that has no net negative impact on the environment from their manufacture, sale, installation, or disposal. The carpet tiles are climate neutral, which means they zero out all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the entire lifecycle of the carpet.


Pepperdine encourages staff to purchase 30% recycled paper for office printing. When purchasing office paper, staff can choose the Office Depot 30% recycled paper item number 267324. On the Pepperdine Office Depot page, a link is available for staff to click on and directly add the recycled paper to their order.

Janitorial Products

Pepperdine uses 40% recycled janitorial products for the restrooms and break rooms around campus.

Pepperdine Bookstore

Multiple recycled or recyclable products are available in the bookstore, including:

  • Blue books made from 100% recycled paper
  • 100% recyclable pencils made of natural wood with unpainted surfaces
  • Ink pens, highlighters, and mechanical pencils made from recycled material
  • Recycled index cards, memo books, post-it notes, composition books, 1, 3 and 5 subject notebooks, filler paper for binders, copy paper, and pocket folders
  • Biodegradable binder pockets, document envelopes, pencil cases, and expandable file holders
  • Reusable shopping bags
  • Men's and women's recycled tee shirts made in the USA from 50% recycled plastic bottles and 50% organic cotton
  • Diploma frames made with eco-friendly, certified wood from well managed forests