Recycling and Sustainability

Interlochen is a community leader in environmental preservation through education and action. We are committed to doing our part to protect and preserve our environment. Over the past several years, we have taken strides to reduce our carbon footprint through a variety of sustainability initiatives. Thank you for doing your part to keep our campus, our local community, and our planet clean and sustainable.


Single-stream recycling bins are located throughout campus in every classroom, studio, building, performance area, and public space. Thank you for doing your part to reduce waste. The following items can be recycled on our campus:

  • Paper including newspapers, magazines, and mixed paper
  • Cardboard (OCC)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Plastic products (#1 & #2)
  • Metal containers, including tin, aluminum, and steel cans

Used batteries may be recycled at any Residence Hall front desk.


All cafeteria waste is expected to be appropriately composted, recycled, or placed in the landfill waste bin. Because we have an industrial-sized compost facility, we can accept all food waste including bones, dairy, meat scraps, and citrus. This differs slightly from most backyard composting practices with which some may be more familiar. Responsible composting practices means eliminating contaminants (recyclables or landfill items) from our compost receptacles.

There are compost bins throughout campus as well, including in all residence halls, central office spaces, main buildings, and Stone Cafeteria.


Everyone can do their part to help conserve energy and resources. Please keep an eye out for ways you can lower your carbon footprint. Here are some ideas:

How you can help reduce energy usage:

  • Turn off lights every time you leave an otherwise unoccupied room
  • Turn off computers, radios, CD players, TVs, and all appliances when not in use
  • Do not use screen-savers
  • Use natural light whenever possible instead of turning on lights 
  • Turn off ceiling lights when just a reading lamp is sufficient
  • Avoid the use of night-lights and turn them off during the day
  • Do not use automated door buttons unless you are disabled
  • Unplug refrigerators if empty. Share a refrigerator

How you can help conserve heat:

  • Keep furniture and belongings away from room heaters
  • Keep windows closed in the winter. If a room is too hot, notify an instructor of residence life
  • If you must open a window, close it when you leave the room

How you can help conserve water:

  • Do not let faucets, toilets, or showers drip. If you see one dripping, turn it off. One drip/second = 2,700 gallons/year!
  • Turn water off while brushing teeth, shaving, or shampooing
  • Take shorter showers
  • Only wash full loads of clothes, and reduce water level appropriately. Wash clothes in cold water

How you can reduce landfill waste:

  • Recycle! Compost!
  • Use re-usable water bottles. Water bottle filling stations, with triple filtered water, are located in the cafeteria.
  • Use self-provided containers, like Tupperware or paper sacks, to take food from the cafeteria.
  • Minimize your use of paper by relying on electronics

R.B. Annis Botanical Lab and Community Garden 

Opened in 2017, our R.B. Annis Botanical Lab and Community Garden provides a place for Interlochen students to learn about botany, agriculture, and ecology while providing fresh produce for the campus community. 

RB Annis Botanical Lab
Botanical Lab
Botanical Lab
Botanical Lab
Botanical Lab
Botanical Lab | Solar Panels