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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
  • Block Styrofoam

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.
  • Ensure that items are clean and dry; empty liquids and food scraps from cups and containers.

See how EDCO sorts items placed in recycling bins at their state-of-the-art facility. EDCO recycling process

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.

Other Recyclable Materials

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

How to dispose of:

Printable Guides

Bin Buddies

All office and cubicle trash containers in state-funded buildings use unlined Bin Buddies. These small trash bins and large recycling bins save resources and encourage more recycling. Many campuses, including UC Berkeley, use this system.

See How to Use Bin Buddies

bin buddies


For more information about recycling or to report problems, contact the Facilities Management Customer Relations help desk, (858) 534-2930, 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. weekdays.