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recycling and trash bins

Sorting Recycling at UMD

Cans, bottles, glass, plastic, and paper can all be recycled at UMD. All of these can be co-mingled, although paper is kept separate in some areas (to reduce the need to wash the bins).

There are a couple different recycling bins that you may see around campus. Some bins have PAPER sorted separately, and others have a single RECYCLING bin (where paper, cans, bottles, and plastic can be co-mingled.)

Paper can be co-mingled with cans, bottles, and plastic in this unit.

What can be recycled?

new recycling and trash bins
  • Plastic and Cans (co-mingled): aluminum cans, plastic bottles (and their caps), and glass bottles; tin cans, milk and juice box cartons, all other recyclable plastics labeled #1-7. Note: Salad Bar to-go containers from Fresh Works at the Food Court CAN be recycled, as long they do not contain food waste.
  • Paper: white paper, non-corrugated cardboard, brochures, used notebooks, etc. Note: Staples, cellophane envelope windows, or spiral bindings on notebooks do NOT need to be remov

    Paper is sorted separately in this quad unit.

How to recycle other items on campus:

Corrugated Cardboard: Corrugated boxes are kept separate from paper, and removed daily by custodial staff. Check with your recycling liaison regarding the procedure your department is using to dispose of corrugated cardboard. Usually, offices stack corrugated cardboard neatly in a designated area for pick-up. (Remember: pizza boxes and other food storage corrugated cardboard is not accepted.)


Plastic Bags (or other film plastic): Plastic bags, and other film plastic, are accepted at the UMD Storesbag recycling bin. Plastic bags cannot be co-mingled with cans/bottles.

Note: UMD Stores offers free reusable bags when ordering your books from the university.

Confidential Materials: Quite a few departments have purchased the small shredders that fit over a bin to dispose of their confidential materials. The shredded paper is then collected by our staff on their regular pick up routes. Recycling Services also offers large bins for document destruction when staff are moving or purging large quantities of confidential material.


6,000 pounds of books, ready for re-use! (Fall 2014)

Books: In early fall and late spring each school year, UMD Sustainability hosts a book collection event for re-use and recycling. If you need to recycle a book outside of these collections, softcover books can go into paper recycling, but hardcover books need covers removed/tossed before placing in the recycling bin.

Batteries: There are buckets for recycling batteries located in 26 areas across campus. Instructions for sorting batteries is located on the buckets at the sites.


These items belong in the Waste stream as they cannot be recycled:

  • Pizza boxes
  • Candy, snack, or ice cream wrappers
  • Foam plates from Taste of Italia
  • Waxy Coca-Cola cups from Food Court
  • Plastic lids and straws from Food Court

Electronics and Hazardous Waste

Electronic waste (e-waste) contains many heavy metals and other harmful materials. The Environmental Health and Safety Office provides e-waste boxes to departments for removing e-waste. For information on e-waste and other hazardous material recycling, contact The Environmental Health and Safety Office at x6764. E-waste drives are a great way to get your campus organization involved in a sustainable initiative. During the Spring 2011 Sustainability Fair, MPIRG at UMD worked with the Sustainability Office and the Environmental Health and Safety Office to organize an e-waste drive. In one day, 780 lbs of e-waste were collected.

Ink/Toner Cartridges

Ink and toner recycling is done by the department that purchases it. Larger companies (HP, Canon, Lexmark, etc.) will typically take back their cartridges for free, and may even send the necessary packaging to do so. If a department buys ink locally, some shops will take and recycle empty cartridges, or refill them for a reduced fee. Additionally, there are multiple website that will buy back empty cartridges. Whichever decision your department makes, we ask that you keep sustainable practices in mind.


  • To request a recycling bin, or for additional questions on recycling, please email or call x8262
  • If you would like to get yourself or a class involved in campus cleanups, contact the Sustainability Office at