Sustainability, Recycling and More

Benjamin Franklin College’s Sustainability Information 

Treating Benjamin Franklin College Like Your Home:

RECYCLABLES (Single Stream)

  • Paper, metals, and glass can be deposited in single-stream recycling.

  • All plastics, except plastic bags, can be deposited in single-stream recycling.

  • Empty and recycle your food containers.

  • Dead pens, pencils, and markers can be deposited in the collection jar in the laundry room. We’re donating them to Terracycle!

ELECTRONIC WASTE (chargers, phone batteries, etc.)

  • Electronic waste goes in the Universal Waste bin in the Head of College (HoC) office.
  • All universal waste is safe if it is not cracked or broken. If universal waste (e.g. CFL lightbulbs or lead acid batteries) breaks, vacate the area for 30 minutes and immediately call Environmental Health and Safety at 203-785-3555.


  • Plastic Bags, tissues, wax paper, styrofoam, light bulbs, ceramics, and alkaline batteries (not lithium batteries, phone batteries, rechargeable batteries) are all considered trash.

LOGISTICSWaste disposal graphic

  • If we don’t sort items properly, the whole recycling bag will get trashed.
  • The custodial staff picks up recycling and trash from the basement each weekday.
  • Your suite has a green recycling bin. Be careful to never dump plastic bags of any into your recycling bin.
  • Bring your own trash can for your suite.


  • Take what you want, eat what you take.
  • Get portions you know you will finish and go back for seconds to minimize food waste.
  • Put food waste and compostable dining-hall provided eating ware in the compost.
  • If you bring a container from outside the dining hall, do not compost it; put it in recycling or trash.
  • If a non-compostable item is put in the compost bin, the whole bag gets trashed.


  • Biking: Enjoy the bike path in our very own backyard! We have a repair shop where we can learn to fix bikes. Plus,if you take the Yale Bicycle Safety class, you can get a free Zagster bike rental membership!
  • Shuttle: The northbound Orange and Blue lines stop at Prospect/Trumbull and Prospect/Sachem. The southbound Red line stops on the walkway between Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray. Get the Rider app to track the shuttles!
  • Door to door: call 203-432-6330 between 6pm and 6am for a door-to-door ride.


  • Enjoy the local plants around the colleges. By choosing these plants, we’re saving water and helping the local ecosystem.


  • Be nice to it! Keep it clean! It’s free for you, and we’re sharing it with future students. Also, don’t remove it from your room, as fines are no fun.


  • Using the cold water cycle is safer for your clothes and cleans normal laundry better than hot water. It saves a lot of energy, as well!
  • Be sure to clear the lint filter on the dryer before each load.


  • Use reusable water bottles (perhaps from your Benjamin Franklin swag). Water bottle refill stations are located in the college basement.


  • We burn natural gas at the Central Power Plant to generate steam, electricity, and chilled water.
  • Although we use fossil fuels, Benjamin Franklin and Pauli Murray are LEED Gold Certified, meaning our colleges are energy efficient and built with sustainable materials. Our main energy feature is the 48 underground closed-loop ground source heat pumps that keep us comfortable. As an added bonus, our colleges’ windowpanes have layers of inert gas that trap warmth.
  • Although the colleges are LEED Gold Certified, we still need to use energy carefully.
    • Unplug unused electronics. Electronics that are plugged in while turned off still suck power out of the wall.
    • We have thermostats to adjust the temperature. The set points are centrally controlled. Utilities will want our input later in the year for set points!
    • Shut off lights, power strips, and computers when not in use.
    • Keep the windows closed when it gets cold