Sustainability Initiative at Aquinas College

Special Collections

Download: Special Collection and Terracyle Cheat Sheet

“Special Collections” include several unique waste categories that are different from composting or recycling. They represent relationships Aquinas has developed with companies that want our waste products, so what is accepted is very specific. Special collections are, by definition, unique. Disregard the rules used for recycling and composting and focus on the lists of examples given for each collection. ONLY THE LISTED ITEMS can be placed in their respective bins.At a Special Collection Station you will find the following collections: Terracycle, Goodwill Donations, Styrofoam, Ink Cartridges, E-Waste, Batteries.

Special Collections Stations

  • Academic Building: Basement (across from elevator)
  • Albertus Hall: First Floor near the elevator
  • Apartments: First Floor Lobby
  • Art and Music Center: First Floor
  • Browne Center: Basement Laundry
  • Campus Safety
  • Dominican Hall: In each quad near entrance
  • Holmdene: Basement under stairwell
  • Hruby Hall: First Floor Incinerator room near elevator
  • Library: Lobby
  • Regina: All Incinerator rooms
  • St. Joe: All Incinerator rooms
  • Wege Student Center: Outside the Health Center

*Terracycle Only bins are also located in the Moose, Albertus Hall 3rd floor Lounge, and at all Vending Machines

Special Collection Bins
Terracycle is an international upcycling and recycling company that collects difficult-to-recycle packaging and products and repurposes the material into innovative products. Click here to learn about what items Terracycle accepts.

Make Your Own Terracycle Box
Want to help AQ reach zero waste? Start by making a personal Terracycle collection box! Download and print out the label, and start collecting everyday waste such as snack bags and candy wrappers. When your box is full, simply empty it at your nearest Terracycle station.

Aquinas is collecting items that can be donated to Goodwill for reuse. A variety of items are accepted including clothes, jewelry, books, shoes, furniture (any condition), sports equipment, and other household items. Goodwill will accept items in any condition, including stained shirts and broken chairs. Items that cannot be sold in a Goodwill store are recycled by the organization. In addition to the locations above, Goodwill collections can also be found outside the Center for Sustainability (AB 255) and in the lobby of Regina and St. Joe.
You can recycle your Styrofoam at Aquinas. Accepted items include white, block-style Styrofoam only. We do NOT accept packing peanuts, egg cartons, or Styrofoam cups and plates. In addition to the special collection areas listed above, collection bins can be found in the following areas: 

  • Mailroom
  • Bookstore
  • ITS

Electronic Waste (E-waste) Recycling
Unwanted and broken electronic items can be recycled at Aquinas, including cell phones, alarm clocks, radios, computer parts, and much more. Any item with a battery or a cord is accepted (excluding large appliances such as refrigerators). Collected electronics are donated to Comprenew Environmental, a non-profit e-waste recycler who reprocesses all e-waste collected for resale or disassembles into component parts for reuse by suppliers. According to a report by The National Safety Council, there is an estimated 315 million obsolete computers and over 500 million outdated cell phones in just the United States. The study states less than 11% of computers are recycled ( Recycling electronic waste (e-waste) is especially important because it contains highly toxic substances, including lead, mercury, cadmium, lithium, brominated flame retardants, phosphorous coatings, and PVC plastics that create dioxins when burned. The extreme amount of lead in electronics alone causes damage in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the blood, and the kidneys. E-waste represents 70% of the overall toxic waste in landfills. Keep these dangerous chemicals out of our landfills by recycling your e-waste.
Ink Cartridge & Battery Recycling
Collection bins are located in all special collection stations. By recycling your ink cartridges, you can help keep tons of plastic and metal out of our landfills and help reduce the amount of new raw materials—including oil—required to produce new ink cartridges. If possible, please recycle ink cartridges in their respective boxes so we can keep the recycling containers clean. If you have larger ink cartridges to recycle that won’t fit in the cardboard boxes, please bring them to the ITS help desk (3rd floor AB).