The Sustainability Office manages Luther's recycling program.  Currently, there are 10 work study students spending 60 hours each week collecting recycling in residential halls and academic and administrative buildings.  Most buildings on campus are collected multiple times per week.  The work study students take the recyclables to a large bin by Facilities.  Students sort the materials and put them in their proper compartment for each kind of recyclable.  Winneshiek County Recycling picks up the large bin once a week.

The recycling program at Luther is dedicated to making it as simple as possible to recycle.  We want everyone to have easy access to recycling bins so it is not any more work than taking your trash out.  Every person on campus plays an important role in making the recycling program effective and efficient.  Putting recyclable materials in their proper bin, breaking down all cardboard, and making sure trash stays out is crucial to the efficiency of our program.  Please help reduce landfill waste and increase recycling by following the guidelines below. 

Computer Equipment and Software

Luther Owned Computer Equipment

If your department or office has Luther owned computer equipment (still functioning or broken) that you want taken off your hands, please call the Help Desk at x1000 to have it picked up.

Student or Personally Owned Equipment

Dell Reconnect will take and reuse or recycle these items. The drop off location in Decorah is at the Goodwill store.  Other locations can be found on their location finder. A full list of recyclable and reusable items can be found at also takes "technotrash" and recycles them into new items. They also have a full list of items that they will take on their website. Check them out here!

Recycling Printer Cartridges

There are drop boxes for printer cartridges located in the library (recycle box in Patty Livingood's office), and in the Document Center located in Main. The cartridges are then shipped to an authorized recycling center that breaks them down and recycles plastic and other components. This is a service provided at no cost to Luther College or any of its customers. Off brand (hp, dell, samsung, etc) toners and inkjet cartridges are accepted. 

Recycling Redeemables for Habitat for HumanityRedeemables Bin

With the recent change to eliminate glass recycling in Winneshiek county, recycling glass bottles can now only be accepted through the redeemable program on campus.  Glass bottles, aluminum cans and plastic bottles are redeemable if the Iowa stamp is located on the bottle/can.  Redeemable bins are located in numerous locations on campus.  All proceeds will go towards the Decorah Habitat for Humanity house plans.

Recycling CFL Bulbs

Sustainability is now collecting old CFL bulbs from students. CFLs cannot be thrown away due to hazardous chemical content.  There is a labeled collection box in the closet across from V372F in the Environmental Studies/Sustainability Office Suite in Valders (The Office Supplies Reuse Station). CFL collection is for Luther students only.  Faculty and staff are encouraged to take old CFL bulbs directly to Winneshiek County Recycling Center.

Recycling Cell Phones

The Wireless Alliances is recycling old cell phones, chargers and accessories. To recycle these items, bring them to the drop box by the atm in the Union.

Recycling the phones ensures that the toxic materials in the phones don't end up in our landfills and groundwater. Continued recycling and reuse of cell phones substantially reduces the number of phones manufactured each year. This also reduces the demand for precious metals collected through environmentally destructive mineral mining.The cell phones collected from this program are either refurbished, reused or smelted down for metals and plastics.

 Waste Stream Map

Recycling Rechargeable Batteries

Sustainability recently added rechargeable battery collection. We are collecting these for recycling in the Office Supplies Reuse Station located in the closet across from V372F in the Environmental Studies/Sustainability Office Suite in Valders. Boxes are labeled on the shelves, along with other items that you can reuse! Battery collection includes cell phones, AA, AAA, laptop batteries, and basically any other rechargeable battery. 

Packing Peanuts and Bubbles

We have added a bin to collect packaging peanuts and bubbles in the SHL recycling area by the dock.  Departments can either drop packing materials off or request that the recycling crew pick them up from their office via trackit.  We will contact a local business to come and pick them up when the bin is full.

Event Recycling

Event RecyclingWe now have several event recycling receptacles for use in any on-campus event that may have additional recycling needs.  The recycling crew will set up and take down the containers, but it is the event organizer's responsibility to change the bags as needed.  Contact the the Sustainability Office with questions or to request a receptacle.

Event recycling