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Recycling & Waste Diversion

To meet its goal of climate neutrality, the University of Richmond is committed to becoming a “zero-waste” campus. Minimizing campus waste also reduces emissions beyond the campus, and because these efforts are often highly visible, they are a large contributor to environmental awareness throughout campus. One of the first steps towards this goal is the University's commitment to acheiving an 80% waste diversion rate by 2020. This means that we will reuse, reduce, recycle, and compost so that 80% of our waste does not go to a landfill. 

Recycling has been in place at the University since 1991, beginning as a coordinated effort between the University’s environmental services department and interested students. Today, the University has two dedicated recycling technicians working in facilities, and an extensive recycling program for a variety of materials. In 2015, the University recycled 363 tons, composted 21 tons, and landfilled 1519 tons of material. An additional 15 tons were reused or resold through our furniture reuse, Office Supply Exchange, and Big Yard Sale programs. We recycle 91% of construction waste on campus and staff in Heilman Dining Center manage an innovative pre-consumer food waste composting program that sends more than 40,000 pounds of food waste a year to responsible reuse.

University of Richmond uses mixed or single-stream recycling on campus. All recyclable materials can go in any blue recycling bin. Recycling is an important piece of the University's sustainability efforts, but remember that reducing and reusing is even more important.

The University uses blue recycling bins and black, grey, or tan trash bins. Please read the labels and signs on bins to ensure that your trash and recycling end up in the correct bin.

Recycle & Be a Green Spider

For comprehensive lists of what can and cannot be recycled on campus, visit our Be a Green Spider page.

When purchasing products and services, University offices are encouraged to consider third-party sustainability certifications—such as Green Seal, GreenGuard, Energy Star, and the Forest Stewardship Council—whenever possible. Contracts also have specifications for recycled content for custodial, office, and food service paper products; 80 percent of these products must contain 30% recycled content.

What can I recycle in bins on campus?

-Empty aluminum/steel/tin cans

-Empty glass bottles

-Empty plastics #1-#7 (look for a number in the recycling symbol on the plastic - no styrofoam)

-All mixed paper including: envelopes, copy paper, paper bags, chipboard, telephone books, junk mail, books, magazines, cardboard, and newspaper

-Food cartons and cardboard

-Tin and bi-metallic containers (including aerosol cans)

What cannot be recycled in bins on campus?

-Any material with substantial food debris

-Alkaline batteries (please use battery recycling bin in the lobby of 815 Boatwright) 

-Plastic bags or film

-Styrofoam of any kind

-Light bulbs

-Mirrors, drinking glasses

-Wood

-Electronics (E-Waste collection occurs each spring)

-Trash

-Utensils and straws

Where can old electronics be recycled?

To recycle University owned electronics including laptops, PCs, monitors, and printers, call the Information Services Help Desk for information and assistance at (804) 287-6400. The University reuses computerswhenever possible. Once a unit has reached the end of its useful life at the University, it is recycled through Arrow. The recycling process reduces the University's environmental impact from electronics.

For personal electronics, the University hosts periodic e-waste collection events. Personally owned e-waste from UR employees and students is accepted. 

Where can batteries be recycled?

Call University Facilities for information on rechargeable and other batteries at (804) 289-8600. Alkaline Battery recycling is available in the library entrance outside 8:15 and just inside the bookstore entrance. This program is suspended during the summer.

Can the University recycle furniture?

Yes. Call Procurement and Strategic Sourcing for more information at (804) 287-6827. Students can also donate personal furniture to be sold at the Big Yard Sale.

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