Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: very important words for a Terp to live by. Recycling is one of the greatest environmental success stories at the University of Maryland. Our commitment to single stream recycling and compost collection has helped maintain strong waste diversion numbers and spread sustainability knowledge on campus. Individual waste diversion is a crucial part of waste management on campus and everyone can support the effort by properly sorting their waste.

Recycling FAQ

Single Stream Recycling


Acceptable Items:

  • Paper: Newspaper, magazines, computer paper
  • Plastic Containers: #1-7 bottles, jugs, trays, etc.
  • Cardboard: cereal boxes, frozen food packaging, etc.
  • Aluminum: cans, containers, foil, pie pans, etc.
  • Books: paperback, textbooks, hardback, phone
  • Steel/Tin Cans: soup cans, fruit cans, etc.
  • Waxed Cartons: milk and juice cartons, juice boxes
  • Glass: jars and bottles

Unacceptable Items:

  • Plastic Bags/Film: recycling bins specifically designated for collecting plastic waste can be found in Terp Zone in the Stamp Student Union and each residential convenience store on campus (Commons, Leonardtown, North Campus and 24 Shops).
  • Styrofoam: packing peanutes, cups, egg cartons, insulation, etc. (even if the item has a recycling symbol)
  • Light Bulbs: incandescent nor compact florescent
  • Broken Glass: lab glass, windowpanes, mirrors, etc.
  • Toxic Materials Containers: motor oil, antifreeze, etc.
  • Auto Parts: tires, tail/headlights, windshield wipers, grilles, etc.
  • Medical Waste: bandages, surgical gloves/instruments, needles, etc.
  • Hazardous Waste: flammable, reactive, corrosive and/or toxic materials
  • Batteries: must be recycled in designated battery recycling bin locations. View this list to find the battery recycling bin nearest to you. Lead acid batteries can be recycled by contacting the Department of Environmental Safety, Sustainability and Risk at 301.405.3960.


  • Food Waste: fruit, vegetables, meat, bread, etc.
  • Soiled Paper: paper towels, plates, tissues, napkins
  • Tea/Coffee: tea bags (with staples), coffee grounds, coffee filters
  • Paper Containers: pizza boxes; compostable cups and cutlery; waxed and soiled paper take-out containers, cups, and plates (empty cups of all liquid before composting)


  • Packets and Wrappers: condiement packets, candy and food wrappers, chip bags, etc.
  • Small Plastic Items: including lids and straws, creamer cups, plastic cutlery, etc.
  • Styrofoam: even if there is a recycle symbol on this item, Styrofoam is not recyclable on campus
  • Broken Glass: lab glass, windowpanes, mirrors, etc.