SAIC is committed to reducing the amount of waste that is sent to the landfill. Review the resources below to help.


SAIC has a single-stream recycling program for paper, plastic, and aluminum. Single-stream recycling means that material can be collected together in one bin. All recyclables throughout campus are collected into clear plastic bags and picked up by our contracted waste hauler Lakeshore Recycling. They are then separated at their recycling facilities.

Recycling bins on campus are currently marked with green SAIC Recycles! sticker and the clear bag. Plastic bins with no sticker and a black bag are for trash. We are currently working on redesigning our recycling system to make it easier to understand what common everyday materials are recyclable and which ones are not so be look out for future signage changes.


Our food scraps are a valuable resource that should be converted back into soil and kept out of landfills. We currently provide compost collection bins in our Columbus Building Café and the kitchen of the LeRoy Neiman Center Café. We are working to expand our composting collection across campus in the future.

What is compost? How can I participate?

Composting is the process of turning food waste and other organic materials into soil that can then be used to grow more food. You can participate in our composting system by scraping your food scraps into the designated bin before placing the rest of your food related items into the recycling or landfill containers.

Where do our food scraps go?

SAIC's food scraps are collected by our contracted compost hauler Collective Resources. Collective Resources takes our food scraps to an industrial windrow composting facility at 122nd Street and Stony Island where it is converted into landscaping soil.


Surplus is a service station where used and excess materials can be made available for other students to take and use for free. Students can bring anything they no longer need—materials, former art projects, etc., as long as they meet the material guidelines posted—and take away stuff that they can use. Surplus provides a constantly changing resource for materials for artmaking, and it keeps quantities of used and excess materials that the school produces out of the landfills.

Surplus currently operates in the Columbus and Sharp buildings.

Columbus Building, 280 S. Columbus Dr., room 123

Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., room 312

For more information please visit the Surplus Facebook page.


SAIC's media center and gallery equipment are put through constant use all year round. It is thus necessary to consistently update our equipment according to our community's needs, however this results in us having used media equipment that we no longer need. To further this equipment's use, we organize FireSale, an event in which we sell our excess used electronic equipment and other supplies to the SAIC community at sustantially discounted prices.

Publicly accessible recycling buckets for used batteries are available in SAIC's media centers. Expired light bulbs and other electronic waste from staff and faculty offices can be collected by inputting a work ticket to enineering through the 360 request system.

Residence Hall Move-Out

At the end of each semester, SAIC facilities coordinators collect large amounts of art supplies that have been abandoned in classrooms and lockers and bring them into Surplus. In the residence halls, IRFM collaborates with Residence Life staff to provide donation collection bins and establish drop off locations for residents' unwanted items. One year, we collected over 4,000 pounds of donated art supplies, non-perishable food items, clothing, and e-waste, which were then re-directed to Surplus and other donation and recylcing facilities.