Recycling universal waste and electronics


Material How to Recycle
Universal waste and electronics

Universal waste is handled by the Yale Office of Environmental Health & Safety (EHS). Click here to request a pick up of universal waste items.

For more information about the EHS universal waste training program and how to identify it, visit their website.

Universal waste includes:

  • computers
  • monitors, keyboards, mice, scanners, and printers
  • radios and televisions
  • VCRs and camcorders
  • CD, DVD, and MP3 players
  • telephones and cell phones
  • lead acid, lithium, rechargeable, and button batteries
  • fluorescent bulbs (long and CFLs)

The following are not considered universal waste, and will not be picked up by EHS for recycling.

  • microwaves
  • refrigerators
  • toasters
  • paper shredders
Printer waste

Recycle all printer cartridges through Yale’s office supply vendor, W. B. Mason. To have your cartridges picked up, call W. B. Mason at 888-926-2766 (ext. 5001) to schedule a pick up, or hand off your used printer and toner cartridges during the next scheduled delivery.

Recyclable printer waste includes:

  • cartridges for laser printers
  • cartridges for inkjet printers
  • cartridges for fax machines
  • cartridges for copiers

The following items cannot be recycled:

  • toner
  • toner containers
Surplus furniture Surplus furniture, lab equipment, and other items can be sold, exchanged, or purchased at Yale’s Eli surplus exchange. Students can donate reusable items such as books, lamps, beds, electronics, clothing, and furniture for reuse through the spring salvage program.
Writing instruments The Office of Sustainability has partnered with TerraCycle to “upcycle” used up writing instruments (ex. ball point pens, Sharpie markers) into new products. Simply toss your old writing instruments into the zero waste box located at Bass Library on campus. TerraCycle creates new products from these items.

Alkaline batteries can either go in the general trash or be collected for removal through EHS. Alkaline batteries are not considered universal waste.

All other batteries such as lead acid, lithium, rechargeable, and button batteries are universal waste and cannot be discarded in the general trash. These batteries must either have their ends taped with electrical tape or each battery must be placed in an individual plastic bag.

Only then can a request for pickup be submitted with the EHS integratorCall EHS at 203-432-6545 or email with questions.

Medicine disposal Read the DEP guide on medicine disposal to learn how to safely dispose of prescription medicines and over-the-counter products.