Recycling Guide

Please use this guide to find the appropriate place and method for disposing of recyclables.

UT Recycles:

Recycling Receptacles

Deskside Bins

Located in faculty/staff office and working areas

Slim Jims

Located in classrooms, public student areas, and hallways

35- & 95-Gallon Rolling Bins

Located in hallways, loading docks, and heavy use areas

Cardboard Sleeves

Located outside the front entrance or on the loading dock

Electronic Waste Containers

Located in the Apartment Residence Hall, Volunteer Hall, Laurel Apartments, the Computer Store, and the North Commons in Hodges Library

Recyclable Materials


Why Recycle: Throwing away a single can is like pouring out six ounces of gasoline. Creating a can from recycled aluminum uses 95 percent less energy than creating one from virgin materials. An aluminum can has no limit to how many times it can be recycled, and the average life cycle of a can is under sixty days.

What to Recycle: Aluminum beverage cans

What is NOT Accepted: Aluminum foil, baking/pie pans, materials with a lot of food contamination

Where to Recycle: Containers marked “Plastic & Bottles/Cans,” including Slim Jims and 35- and 95-gallon rolling bins


Why Recycle: Creating new plastics accounts for 7 percent of worldwide usage of fossil fuels. The purpose of plastic containers is to be chemically inert to the material it contains, which makes them virtually unbiodegradable. Thus, plastics continue to pollute surface waters and break into smaller and smaller pieces. They eventually end up in the oceans, where large eddy currents collect and concentrate the debris, affecting sea life.

Learn More About The Great Pacific Garbage Dump
What do plastic codes mean?

What to Recycle: Any clean plastic (cups, bottles, bags, plates, etc.) labeled No. 1 through 7, excluding  No. 6

What is NOT Accepted: Expanded polystyrene (Styrofoam), dirty food containers, plastic wrap, packing peanuts

Where to Recycle: Containers marked “Plastic & Bottles/Cans,” including Slim Jims and 35- and 95-gallon rolling bins


Why Recycle: About 90 percent of all products shipped worldwide are shipped in cardboard containers. As is it a paper product and there are a limited number of trees, recycling cardboard is not only lucrative but essential to maintaining an environmental equilibrium. Recycling cardboard saves 50 percent of greenhouse emissions compared with new cardboard.

What to Recycle: Corrugated cardboard (the thick wavy kind), clean pizza boxes with no food, shipping and packing boxes

What is NOT Accepted: Very waxy cardboard, cardboard with food contamination, paperboard (cereal boxes, food containers)

Where to Recycle: Cardboard sleeves in front of buildings and on loading docks

Food Waste

Why Recycle: Organic materials in landfills break down under anaerobic conditions (no oxygen). In the absence of oxygen, bacteria will produce methane gas more readily. Methane is a greenhouse gas with 20 times more greenhouse potential than carbon dioxide. Also, organic materials take up valuable space in landfills. At UT we compost green wastes and food wastes to create a nutrient-rich soil additive.

Learn More About Campus Composting
What to Recycle: Food waste, nonwaxy paper, napkins, coffee grounds

Where to Recycle: All campus dining locations compost their excess and spoiled food products, and some academic buildings have composting in break/faculty rooms.

Steel Cans

Why Recycle: Most people call them “tin cans,” but the containers your green beans come in are mostly made of steel. Recycling steel cans saves 74 percent of the energy used to produce them. A steel mill that uses recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution, and mining wastes by about 70 percent.

What to Recycle:Steel Food Containers

Where to Recycle:In Containers Marked: “Plastic & Bottles/Cans” This Includes Slimjims, and 35 & 95 Gallon Rolling Bins

Green Waste

Why Recycle: Just like food waste, green waste contains organic matter. This organic matter biodegrades in landfills to produce methane gas, which has 20 times more greenhouse potential than carbon dioxide. Furthermore, green waste is bulky and takes up valuable room in landfills. At UT we compost green waste and food waste to create a nutrient-rich soil additive.

Learn More About Campus Composting 


Why Recycle: Batteries contain heavy metals and toxic and corrosive chemicals. These materials can leach into the water supply, where they are difficult and costly to clean up. Battery materials are also expensive, and recycling helps to keep costs down as recovery is more economical than mining.

What to Recycle: Alkaline (single-use), lithium, button/watch, rechargeable, cell phone, computer batteries, lead acid (vehicle batteries).

Where to Recycle: Battery buckets located throughout campus buildings

Special Considerations: Lead-acid vehicle batteries have leads that can short out and cause an explosion. Please contact recycling by e-mail or phone to collect lead-acid batteries.


Why Recycle: Electronic waste is a rapidly growing constituent of the waste stream. It contains many valuable recoverable metals and toxic and hazardous materials.

What to Recycle: Any nonfunctional electronic items, cell phones, computers, microwaves, televisions

Where to Recycle: E-waste bins around campus

Special Considerations: Please fill out the service request form for large or bulky items that will not fit in the e-waste bins.

Printer and Toner Cartridges


Fluorescent and Compact Fluorescent Lamps




Scrap Metal