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How to Recycle at UC San Diego


All recyclable materials can be placed in any campus recycling container, including office bins.

  • Mixed paper – without bindings, rubber bands or paper clips; staples don't need to be removed.
    • Any type of paper, including envelopes, sticky notes, wrappers, newspaper, manila folders, boxboard (e.g., cracker or cereal boxes) and corrugated cardboard
    • Magazines, phone books and paperbacks
  •  Empty containers
    • Glass, steel and tin containers with lids removed
    • Paperboard beverage containers
    • Plastic bottles and containers with the #1-7 recycling symbol on the bottom
    • Aluminum cans and clean foil
    • Aerosol cans – containing no propellant
  • Block Styrofoam
  • Other recyclable materials

When recycling:

  • Keep all trash out of recycling containers.
  • Flatten cans and plastic bottles whenever possible.
  • Empty and flatten all cardboard boxes before placing them inside recycling containers. Do not leave boxes near bins, dumpsters or on loading docks.

Note: Before purging paper files or generating large amounts of paper or beverage containers, contact the Facilities Management Customer Relations help desk, (858) 534-2930, at least 48 hours in advance to get a large temporary recycling container.

Not Recyclable

  • Carbon paper
  • Wax- and plastic-coated paper
  • Tissue or paper towels
  • Paper or containers contaminated by food or other organic waste
  • Plastic film
  • Styrofoam packing peanuts, food clamshells, plates, cups, etc.
  • Paint brushes, colored or wooden pencils

Bin Buddies

Most offices have a lined trash bin and a smaller recycling bin. In January 2019, Facilities Management will begin transitioning all campus office trash and recycling containers to RubberMaid Bin Buddies without plastic liners. Custodians will replace all Scripps Institution of Oceanography office bins first and then move to the main campus, working west to east by college. Facilities Management expects to complete the conversion by mid-2019. The new system will ensure that everyone has small trash bins and large recycling bins without liners to save resources and money. Many campuses, including UC Berkeley, are using this system already.

See How to Use a Bin Buddy

bin buddies

Printable Guides

How to dispose of: