Hello from Your Green Team,
There was some confusion with the email template we sent out last week, so we offer this as a clarification.
Unfortunately when products cannot be recycled, they must be placed in the landfill/trash bin. We recognize that identifying these items can often be confusing.
Items that must be placed in the landfill/trash bin are:
  • Chip bags, granola wrappers, and any other food product bags or wrappers that are not stretchy plastic film
  • Ketchup, mustard, and other individual condiment wrappers
  • Single-use hot cups (Remember you can separate the plastic lid and paper holder for recycling!)
  • Soda cups that are waxed coated or poly-coated paper
  • All polystyrene, aka Styrofoam (Unfortunately, that means the Berkey Creamery ice cream and coffee cups.)
When possible, it is best to try to reduce your consumption of these materials. Try buying in bulk or purchasing reusable water bottles or coffee cups. 

Further, there are new products made each day incorporating new technology and innovation. There is now a compostable cup which is clear and resembles plastic. However, these cups are made of corn or other plant materials instead of oil and can break down at composting sites. 
How to tell the difference? If the product is compostable, the letters PLA will be found under the chasing arrows symbol or it will have "compostable" written on the cup. If you don't see either of these two indicators, it is an oil-based plastics, and therefore, can be placed in the miscellaneous plastics bin. All compostable cups should be placed in the compost bin. 

If you have any questions, please contact recycle@psu.edu or tweet questions to @sustainPSU.
Recycling and composting. This is what we do, and this is how we do it,
Your Green Team
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Penn State's Sustainability Institute | 108 Land and Water Building | University Park | State College | PA | 16802