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Solid Waste & Recycling

About Solid Waste & Recycling on Campus

Our Solid Waste & Recycling team is comprised of a supervisor, a crew leader and seven solid waste workers. Together, this team removes approximately 7,000 tons of landfill trash, recyclables and compostable materials each year from UT's Main Campus and the J.J. Pickle Research Campus. The Solid Waste & Recycling team also supports major events occuring on campus, including home football games.

  • The recycling and solid waste on Main campus is picked up Monday-Friday from 4:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., and the J.J. Pickle Research Campus recycling and solid waste is picked up on Tuesday and Thursday.
  • All recycling and solid waste pick-ups are done at designated outdoor trash and recycling enclosures throughout campus. For a schedule of recycling and trash pick-ups inside buildings, read about our cleaning services.
  • We pick up solid waste daily on the university campus and pick up waste for special events upon request.
  • For information about whether an item is considered trash, recycling or surplus property you may contact the Facilities Services Center at 512-471-2020.
  • Use our Blue Bin Request Form to request a recycling bin.

Recycling - Reducing Our Waste Stream

By working with our local recycler, we are now able to collect and recycle plastics #1 through #7. Along with the plastics, we also recycle aluminum cans and paper/cardboard, providing them to the recycling contractor in a single stream.

By working with our local recycler, we are now able to accept a wide variety of recyclable materials in one bin. We can now recycle plastics #1-#7, aluminum cans, paper/cardboard and glass. For more information about what to recycle contact us at recycling@austin.utexas.edu.

In addition to our collection of campus building recycling, we also collect recycling from more than 65 outdoor recycling bins on both Main Campus and the J. J. Pickle Research Campus. We have also expanded our initiatives through the composting of animal bedding waste at two locations.

Recycling Resources

Recycling FAQ's

Does recycling really matter?

Recycling is part of reducing the overall waste stream from the UT campus. The university community values recycling because it reduces our carbon impact and is an important way for us to contribute to a greener economy.

Our 2008 Greenhouse Gas Inventory revealed that the waste going to our landfill makes us responsible for nearly 3,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Reducing our waste going to landfill is the simplest way to reduce this carbon impact.

Paper, aluminum, and plastics #1 and #2 are easily and quickly recycled into new products and are usually in demand. Recycling generally provides raw material to manufacturers that is less energy-intensive to produce than extracting virgin materials from the earth, particularly in the case of aluminum, scrap metals, and paper. Innovative uses of used plastics pop up all the time, so providing our hundreds of thousands of pounds of recycling can help manufacturers stay afloat and grow.

Where can I recycle?

You can recycle just about anywhere on campus. Use the Campus Recycling Stations Map for the nearest location.

Where can I get indoor bins?

If you do not currently have a desk-side recycling bin, you may request a free blue bin by using our Blue Bin Request Form. Blue bins are available in a 13-quart size (suitable for desks) or 41-quart and 23-gallon sizes (suitable for copiers).

What about materials not covered on the Recycling Right Chart?

In pursuit of the university's zero waste goal, we are working to identify other recyclable materials. If you have a material you are interested in recycling, e-mail recycling@utexas.edu.

How do I get a blue bin?

You may request blue bins by using our Blue Bin Request Form. Blue bins are available in a 13-quart size (suitable for desks) or 41-quart and 23-gallon sizes (suitable for copiers). All sizes are free to campus offices.

What other ways can I support recycling?

The UT Campus Environmental Center and the Office of Sustainability sponsor various events throughout the year such as tailgate recycling on home game days, Earth Week and America Recycles Day.

Is shredded paper recyclable?

No. Our recycling partner, Balcones Recycling, is currently unable to received shredded paper through our recycling stream. This is because recyclable paper is bailed at the facility, and shredded paper does not bail properly.

Why do the custodians throw away my recycling?

Custodial Services staff members are trained to look for contamination. If you see them "throwing away" paper, cans, or bottles into the trash can, consider the following scenarios, and then use the contact number below if there still seems to be a problem.

  • The recyclable paper may be contaminated by trash. This is the most common scenario. If ANY food waste gets into the paper bin, it must be thrown away. Clean napkins and/or paper towels in the paper bin may give the impression that there is food waste; do not attempt to recycle napkins or paper towels. Likewise, used coffee cups are unacceptable, as are any used paper plates.
  • The custodian may only be collecting paper at that time. Some buildings send different workers through at different times with single large bins; some are assigned to collect trash and some collect paper. If you see a single large bin for collections, this is probably what is happening.
  • Be sure you are in a building handled by UT Custodial Services. Other custodial contractors may be trained differently.

If you witness staff mixing clean recyclables with trash, please report this to 512-471-2020 with the time and location.

Watch this video to learn what happens to your trash and recycling after you throw it away.

What should I NOT put in the trash?

Oversized or bulky items:
- Appliances
- Furniture
- Plate glass
- Tires
- Scrap metal
- Metal shavings
- Pipes of any type
- Angle iron of any size
NOTE: a 40-yard roll-off dumpster in the Facilities Complex is dedicated for scrap metal. Campus customers may use this dumpster to dispose of scrap metal.
Overly dense items:
- Bricks
- Blocks of concrete
- Pieces of steel
- Construction waste
- Lumber (e.g., 2x4s, plywood, etc.)
- Sheetrock
- Carpet
- Ceiling tiles
- Rocks, dirt, fill material
- Paint and aerosol cans
- Chemicals of any kind
- Computers or computer parts
- Fluorescent light bulbs
- Hazardous waste
- Biologically active materials
- Radioactive materials
- Animal or human waste
Liquids of any kind (including water) must be emptied prior to placing in a trash container. Empty bottles are recyclable.
Pallets may be stacked neatly inside or next to the dumpster corral at the Facilities Complex, and Solid Waste & Recycling staff will remove them.

Requesting a Solid Waste Pick-up For a Special Event

To request solid waste pickups for a special event (for example, a football game, baseball game, or South Mall event), complete and submit a request online through WORQS, or submit an Event Planning Request form.

Solid Waste & Recycling Operations Location

Facilities Services Building: FC5 1.102
Hours of operation: 5 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Monday-Friday

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