Sustainability at Tufts

Green House Special Interest House

Green House - The Green House is located in the D250's in Latin Way and is intended as a focal point for the environmentally-minded community on the Tufts Campus. By bringing Eco-friendly students, organizations, and faculty together they promote the spread of knowledge and passion for sustainable living. The house provides a living space for environmentally interested students, and a meeting place for the larger Tufts community. Their Advisor: Tina Woolston (ext. 7-5517)
Housing Application


What is composting?

A farmer holds a pile of compost.Composting is a process during which organic materials, such as carrot peels, onion skins or even that leftover pizza from Pizza Days, decompose into a rich soil. This soil is referred to as compost.

Many people have labeled composting as our earth’s oldest recycling system. This is because when these organic materials (such as carrot peels or onion skins) are allowed to decompose in a natural setting, the nutrients go into the soil and allow it to support the growth of new organic materials. By composting, we enrich the soil causing the food being grown to yield more, as well as to have a higher resistance to pests and disease. In a sense, composting is relying on nature to do what it has been doing for thousands of years instead of relying on temporary man-made solutions that often tend to lead to more problems down the road..

Why compost?

Current statistics have organic materials (as in, food waste and yard waste) at approximately 30% of the waste stream. If everyone composted their kitchen and yard trimmings instead of throwing them in the trash, 30% less waste would end up in landfills, waterways and water treatment facilities.

What we do and don’t compost at Tufts

We compost food waste, yard waste, and paper plates/napkins from special events upon request.

We do not compost bioplastics, nor do we recommend them. The most relevant issue for Tufts with bioplastics are logistical problems caused by forks ripping liners, their high cost, and the composting facility’s difficulty composting them as fast as other organic matter. From a global perspective the long term effects of mixing bioplastics in with soil that may be used to grow food is unknown. The philosophy of the Precautionary Principle in part guides our decision to avoid or minimize their use whenever possible. Additionally, we support the Northeast Recycling Council’s policy against the use of degradable additives in plastic packaging. For more information on bioplastics and we don’t recommend them, click here.


Tufts Dining logo Tufts DiningSaveThatStuff logo


J&J Landscape Supply Co.

Herb’s Disposal
(Burlington, MA)


Click here to learn about TUD’s program.

Click here to learn more about independent composting for offices and houses at Tufts.

Click here for a How to Compost wall sign.

Click here to read blog posts about composting.


How to Recycle – All Campuses

Due to recent changes in recycling, blue-tinted liners will no longer be accepted at the recycling center:
  • Recycling Bins: Moving forward, all recycling will be collected in clear bags.
  • Landfill Bins: Blue-tinted bags will now be used to collect trash until they run out.

Please note that the blue UFO-shaped recycling lids will remain on the recycling bins. If you see a recycling bin without a lid, please submit a work order to Facilities Services so the lid can be replaced as soon as possible.

Tufts recently transitioned to mixed recycling. Please watch this video for more information about how to recycle or see a comprehensive list of accepted items at the bottom of the page.

Do not contaminate the recycling. Please follow these guidelines:

All paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, and glass items should be placed in the mixed recycling bin.

A desk-side waste station consisting of a recycling bin and a trash buddy:

A desk-side waste station

  • Office paper: including white, colored and glossy paper (even with staples in it)
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Envelopes (even with plastic windows)
  • Phone books
  • Clean paper bags
  • Empty coffee cups with the plastic lid
  • Clean paper plates
  • Asceptic containers, known as Tetra Paks
Do not recycle:
  • Paper towels
  • Soiled paper plates or to-go boxes with food on or inside
  • Waxy paper plates
  • Tissues
  • Dirty or soiled items
  • All corrugated and non-corrugated cardboard boxes (please break down boxes)
  • Juice or milk cartons
  • Tops of pizza boxes, clean of food waste
  • Frozen food paper boxes
  • Paperboard boxes like a cereal box
Do not recycle:
  • Greasy pizza box bottoms
  • All clean rigid plastic (wipe or rinse out food waste)
  • Takeout containers
  • Yogurt cups
  • Plastic bottles
Do not recycle:
  • To-go containers covered in food (rinse or wipe to recycle)
  • Filmy plastics (grocery bags, Ziplocs, and plastic wrap even if they have a recycling symbol on them)
  • Foil chip bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Bioplastics
  • Disposable gloves
  • Cans (before recycling, empty out the contents/liquid)
  • Aluminum foil products (including clean aluminum to-go containers)
  • Empty food and beverage containers
Do not recycle:
  • Other metal (e.g. coat hangers, pans, random metal objects).
    These items must be processed separately; submit a Maximo request if you have a large amount of metal to recycle.
  • Jars and bottles only (before recycling, empty out the contents/liquid). Any color of glass is accepted.
Do not recycle:
  • Pyrex
  • Broken glass
  • Lightbulbs (these go in the electronic waste bins)
  • Heat-resistant lab glass
  • Any type of glass that is not a jar or bottle

gmap2Tufts Medford/Somerville Waste Stations

Pre-paid semester MBTA passes

MBTA Passes - Controller

For Subway and Commuter Rail routes and schedule information, please refer directly to the MBTA website listed below under “Helpful Links”.


Boston-based Health Science School students (Medical, Dental, and Nutrition Schools and Public Health Professional Degree programs) are eligible to purchase a MBTA semester pass or monthly pass at a 25% discount over regular “T” prices (up to $40/mo. on monthly passes). Each student is entitled to one pass only. A Tufts ID must be presented when you pick up your pass. Unless there is a pre-approved exceptional situation, students must pick up their own pass.

Grafton-based Veterinary School students are eligible to purchase an MBTA Semester Pass at an 11% discount. Please contact the Grafton Bursar’s Office for specific Fall and Spring pass prices.

Pre-paid Semester Passes

Semester passes go on sale twice a year. Fall passes, for September through December, are purchased in July. Spring passes, for January through May, are purchased in November. Application forms are e-mailed or mailed to all eligible enrolled students in July and November, and are also available at our Office. Semester passes are picked up each month beginning on the fourth to the last business day of the month. With a Semester Pass, students only have to pay once a semester and are guaranteed the availability of a discounted pass.

For Link, Bus, Inner Express and Outer Express Bus, you will enjoy the additional benefits of a Charlie Card:

-Convenient one-time only pick-up.

-Security against loss or theft.

Only Link, Bus, Inner Express and Outer Express Bus will be issued a Charlie Card that is good for the full term of September to December (and in Spring, January to May). A new Charlie Card is issued for each pre-paid semester.  Only your initial Charlie Card must be picked-up from the Bursar’s Office each semester.  Additionally your Charlie Card will be registered by the Bursar’s Office and can be replaced if lost or stolen.

For Zone 1A, Zones 1-8 and Boat Passes, you will be issued a monthly MBTA ticket.  These tickets must be picked-up each month at the Bursar’s Office beginning on the fourth to last day of the month.  These cards are not replaceable if lost.

MBTA Semester Pass Discounted Prices – Boston

(New Rates Effective 7/1/16)



Monthly MBTA Pass Discounts – Boston only

For Boston eligible students who are not able to purchase the Semester MBTA pass for September through December or January through May, and for all “Boston pass eligible” students who are still enrolled during June, July or August, Tufts/NEMC will provide a 25% reimbursement toward a monthly pass purchased at full price directly from the MBTA. Maximum discount per month is $40.00.

The Health Sciences Bursar’s Office will accept reimbursement requests quarterly in August, November, February and May between specific dates of the month. (See the schedule below). The June-July-August pass months may be redeemed in August. After May, no prior year receipts will be accepted, except for June passes that may be redeemed only through the August reimbursement period.

If you are purchasing a pass in the reimbursement month, ensure you have done so prior to requesting reimbursement, as we can only process one request quarterly per student.

Request forms are available at the HSBursar’s Office in Posner Hall. Please stop by within the scheduled dates to complete a form and present your receipts.

Please read the following guidelines carefully:
1. Must present original purchase receipts (showing the type of pass purchased, date and amount paid).
2. Must be for a monthly pass purchase. (i.e. Sep 10, Oct 10).
3. Requests accepted quarterly only (see schedule).
5. Requests must be presented in person at the HSBursar’s Office.
6. Must pick up your own reimbursement, as it will be cash.



Sustainable Transportation Options and Programs


BiketoWork051309_MiekeDownHillGetting around campus

Getting to and from campus


Find detailed directions to all three Tufts campuses here.