Campus Recycling Guidelines

Cans, Glass, Plastic Containers

  • Plastics containers #1-7
  • Aluminum and steel cans
  • Glass bottles and jars

All materials should be clean. Lids/caps stay on plastic containers. Lids should be off for glass containers.

Not accepted

Plastic wrap, aluminum foil, and single and/or dirty plastic bags.

Mixed Paper

  • Newspaper
  • Magazines
  • Corrugated cardboard
  • Cardboard
  • Colored or lined paper
  • Paper bags
  • Cartons
  • Paper cups (empty and remove lid)
  • Cardboard cup sleeves

Not accepted

Greasy cardboard, or photo paper

Office Paper

  • White copy and printer paper (whole or shredded)
  • Envelopes (window or windowless)

Specialty Recycling

Expanded polystyrene foam (Styrofoam)

Initiated by the Boxable project, Facilities Planning & Management collects foam shipping containers and large packing material (such as those that come around TVs, computers, and other electronics) for recycling. See the Styrofoam Reuse and Recycling page for more information and collection sites.


UWPD has a MedDrop collection box at their headquarters at 1429 Monroe St. Most prescription and over-the-counter medications are accepted for proper disposal.

Clothing and shoes

Clothing and shoes in good shape can be donated at the bin outside College Library or at one of the many resale stores in Madison. Shoes can also be donated at the Bakke Recreation & Wellbeing Center and the SERF – ask the front desk for drop-off locations. Some stores, including St. Vincent de Paul locations, will also accept worn-out clothing and textiles for recycling.

Chemicals, hazardous materials, lab waste

See the Recyclopedia hosted by UW Environment, Health & Safety.

Large electronic items

The Division of Information Technology (DoIT) accepts some larger personal electronics for secure recycling, including computers, monitors, and printers. Read how DoIT recommends you recycle these larger electronics.

Batteries and small electronic items

Many small electronic waste (e-waste) items and batteries can be disposed of in the recycling towers on campus. Acceptable items include CDs/DVDs, hard drives, flash drives, mp3 players, cameras, handheld games, cords, and cables. (For lead acid batteries, visit the recyclopedia webpage.) For information on tape-based media like VHS tapes, see this page. Many of the e-waste towers also include slots for eyeglasses and printer cartridges. See map below for dropoff locations.

Cell phones

Cell phone recycling is available at towers in Union South and in the 333 East Campus Mall lobby. Be sure to completely wipe your cell phone before disposal for security purposes.

Map of e-waste locations

View the interactive campus recycling map to find drop-off locations. Note: the locations on this map are subject to change. Please contact the Waste & Recycling Manager with any questions.