Our materials management program is designed to decrease the amount of solid waste we generate by joyfully reducing and reusing. It has been working! Between 2008 and 2015 we reduced our solid waste by 15% percent.

On this page you can find out:

  • How to recycle everyday items, computers, and even plastic bags
  • Our policies related to reusing items through FreeUse (campus free store)
  • What to do with furniture and cell phones and other misc. materials
  • Got food scraps? Bard composts!
  • Bard has to prove materials are not hazardous before they go to the landfill or down the drain
  • How to recycle if you live off campus

The Flow of Materials

Regardless of where an item was purchased or how it found its way onto campus, it makes its way into our bins. From there, our Environmental Services staff empty these bins and move the bags to the curb. Next, two members of the Buildings and Grounds staff take the bags to our recycle yard where work-study students help sort bags into our roll-off containers. The waste is sorted into: cardboard, landfill, metal, and two recycling streams -one for paper products and one for glass, metal and plastic containers. Once sorted, Royal Carting takes our recycling to the Ulster County Resource Recovery Agency. Click here to see what you can and can’t recycle in the campus bins. Landfill waste is trucked 250 miles to Ontario County Landfill.  Any single stream recycling goes to the ReCommunity in Beacon, NY.


Bard recycles all types of paper; glass, metal, and plastic containers; electronics; and more. We sort our recyclables.  Be sure to treat paper well – keep it dry and find the correct bin for paper. Containers (glass, metal and plastic) go in their own recycling bins, separate from the paper recycling.  We can take plastic containers with #s 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 – check the bottom of the container to confirm we take it.  We can help you recycle special items, like toner, cell phones, plastic bags and film, etc. Electronic waste can be brought to the sustainability office in B&G or to the E-waste bin on the second floor of the campus center. If you have questions about where an item should go to be recycled feel free to contact our office—we’re here to help! Click here for a simple guide on what you can recycle in the normal bins.



Bard has a FreeUse store where we stock gently used clothing, dishes, toys, furniture, non-perishable food items office supplies and more. FreeUse is open when classes are in session and only accepts items from Bard, though anyone living in the surrounding area is welcome to put clothes and shoes in the Helpsy bin located in FreeUse. The store is open from 4pm to 7pm Monday through Thursday and 12pm to 5pm Friday and Sunday. Closed Saturdays and school holidays.



We divert food scraps and other compostable materials at Kline Dining Hall. When you drop your plate at the clean-up window in Kline be sure to put all food items (including meat and animal bones) into the compost bin and to put all non-food items (napkins, paper plates, etc.) in the trash bin. Be sure to put all reusable plates and silverware on the cleaning window, they cannot be composted! The food waste collected in Kline goes to Bard’s compost pile and then on to Bard lands and the Bard Farm.



Bard is responsible for ensuring we responsibly manage our toxic and hazardous materials.  We contract for the proper handling disposal of hazardous waste as well as electronic waste. If you have questions about discarding an item that you think may be hazardous contact our office. Click below for more information about how to deal with hazardous materials.