Office of Energy & Sustainability

Waste & Recycling


Waste management is an important part of WCM sustainability efforts. Reducing the amount of trash sent to landfills can significantly reduce greenhouse gases and pollution.

At Weill Cornell Medicine, the Housekeeping and Custodial team oversees the movement of our trash and recycling. Trash from the main campus is collected and consolidated in a compactor and recycling is stored in recycling rooms before being picked up by a hauler. Our hauler provides a single-stream recycling system, which means that all recycling streams are combined together. The separation into different waste streams (paper, plastic, metal, glass) happens later at a sorting facility. Only corrugated cardboard (such as thick delivery boxes) is collected separately. However, keeping paper separated from plastic, glass, and metal helps preserve it and increase paper recycling quality. Therefore, the Office of Energy & Sustainability  encourages WCM students and staff to separate paper from the rest of their recycling when possible.



What can be recycled at WCM?


Recycling Instructions

All containers must be clean. Rinse them or wipe them, otherwise place them in the tarsh. Absolutely no food or liquid (only minimal residues are acceptable).


Note: Mixed metal/plastic objects (chairs and furniture) need to be collected as bulk trash. Submit a work order with Facilities Management & Campus Operations.


What goes in the Trash?

 Trash guide


Learn about the items that are often mistakenly placed in the recycling risking to contaminate the entire bag which will then go to a landfill.

Learn what happens to the waste on our campus and when it leaves the campus.

These signs are for you to download, print, and post where you think are needed.

WCM Waste Streams (2022) - Main Campus

WCM waste stream pie chart

 Diversion Rate


In 2022, of the 1171.3 tons of waste generated, 26.4% was diverted from landfills. Above the national average of 24%.

Buildings serviced by WCM’s hauler (single-stream recycling):


Main campusOffsite locations
1300 York and Whitney Pavilion 53 Beekman St
Belfer Research Building240 E 59th St
Weill Greenberg Center1163-67 York Ave
S and SI Buildings2315 Broadway
Olin Hall232 West 80th St
Lasdon House (Floors 2-5)
Oxford Building

Trash and recycling from residencial buildings and some leased areas are collected by other haulers via the building manager or by the Department of Sanitation. Usually, these areas must separate paper from the rest of the recycling, and the recycling streams are collected separately by the hauler.


Buildings with source-separated recycling include:

Lasdon House (Floors 6 and above) and other housing
Feil Research Building
77th St Housing Building
Center for Integrative Medicine
LA Building
MR Building


Did you know

31% of waste in the US consists of containers or packaging.

Office of Energy & Sustainability 1300 York Avenue, LC006, Box 14, New York, NY 10065