Sustainability at the University of Maryland

Frequently Asked Questions

Re-Use, Recycling, and Waste

If you haven't already seen the "What Can I Recyle" webpage, click here.

Do we recycle all plastics?

Yes. We recycle ALL plastics on campus including yogurt and detergent containers, frozen food containers, etc. PLEASE rinse out the food first! Bottle caps are okay!

Rigid plastic is acceptable including plastic trays and even lawn furniture. Large volumes of bulk plastic will be collected separately. Please send an email to recycle@umd.edu to arrange for collection.

Plastic bags and wrap can now be recycled. Please put them in a clear plastic bag and include them with glass, metal, and plastic recyclables.

So we recycle plastics numbered 1 through 7?

Yes. We recycle all plastics #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. We do NOT recycle Styrofoam.

Can I recycle Styrofoam?

No. Styrofoam typically has a recycling symbol on it but we do not have vendors who will accept Styrofoam for recycling. Unfortunately, you need to put Styrofoam in the trash. The one is exception are clean Styrofoam packing peanuts which are accepted at Mailboxes Etc. in College Park for reuse.

Should I empty out my bottles and cans?

Yes. Pour out leftover liquid from your bottles and cans and rinse/wash out food from food containers (especially peanut butter and mayonnaise).

Should I remove the lid from my plastic bottle?

No. We can recycle that plastic, too!

Do I need to flatten cardboard boxes?

Yes. Flatten cardboard boxes and empty all packing materials such as plastic bags and foam beads. If you need help (for example, your office received a large shipment of equipment in many, many boxes), send an email to recycle@umd.edu.

Can I recycle pizza boxes?

Yes. Remove leftover pizza and any wax paper sheet. The box is recyclable even if it has some oil on it.

Is shredded paper recyclable?

Yes. Just bag it in a clear plastic bag and put it with your paper recycling container.

Are paper towels, tissues, and napkins recyclable?

No.

Are books recyclable?

Yes. We recycle all paperback and hardback books; just put them in the recycling bins for "PAPER". If you have more than a few hardback books, email recycle@umd.edu to arrange for a special pick-up for large quantities.

There is also a book drop-off at the west side of the Stamp Student Union that collects books for reuse.

Is aluminum foil recyclable?

Yes. Sheets of aluminum foil can be balled up and put in recycling bins with glass/metal/plastic. Other aluminum containers such as pie pans and lids from some carry-out restaurants are recyclable. Rinse off all food from the aluminum.

Greasy and/or food-laden aluminum trays from grills or other cooking are NOT acceptable. PLEASE put aluminum which is contaminated with grease and/or food in the trash.

Can I take my recyclables somewhere on campus if I want to?

The University Recycling Center that was in Lot 4i across Paint Branch Drive from Comcast Center has been eliminated. Please put recyclables in containers in campus buildings or in green recycling dumpsters around campus. For bulk pick up of recyclables, send an email to recycle@umd.edu.

Can I recycle batteries?

Batteries of all types can now be recycled on campus. To order a battery recycling bin for your building, please email recycle@umd.edu. 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 at 301.405.3960.

Need containers or help recycling? Have suggestions? Send an email to recycle@umd.edu

Contact: Bill Guididas, 301-405-3293, Manager, Recycling and Solid Waste, Building and Landscape Services, Department of Facilities Management, Division of Administrative Affairs.

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