UD completes 5th year of RecycleMania

In 2019, of 163 colleges & universities participating, UD ranked:

  • 125th in Diversion category, recycling 22.9% of total waste
  • 102nd in Per Capital Classic, recycling 9.5 lbs per student

Waste & Recycling Interns visit our Recycling Center

Join the intern team to see where your waste goes!

UD Wins at Grants!

UD Sustainability was awarded +$100k in grant funding from DNREC’s Universal Recycling Grant! Check out the new bins in dining locations and download free informational posters on this page!

UD's Digesters divert food waste from landfill

Caesar-Rodney Dining Hall has two aerobic digesters that divert thousands of pounds of food waste from landfill each week. They also prevent storm water pollution by keeping food out of our dumpsters. Do your part: take what you’ll eat and eat what you take.

BYO Water Bottles

UD has over 50 water bottle refill stations across campus to keep you cool and hydrated. Reusable water bottles also reduce one of the biggest and most harmful sources of plastic pollution in Delaware’s water ways.

All of Delaware has Single Stream Recycling


All recycling go together in one blue bin


On campus & Off Campus

Help us Recycle Right at UD!


YES: newspaper, printer paper, fliers
Anything fit to print is fit for recycling
YES: magazines and catalogues
These are too sexy for the landfill
NO: paper towels or tissues
Sorry but our waste stream can’t recycle these


YES: bottles & containers
If there’s a little food left, don’t fret you can recycle it.

NEW in 2017 – no need to remove bottle caps!

YES: shampoo, detergent, milk jugs
Round or square, put me there… in the recycling.
NO: plastic bags
I gum up the recycling machinery, literally. But you can drop me off at any grocery store. Same is true for plastic wrap or any film plastic.


YES: clear, green, brown
All the glass is accepted in Delaware!
NO: mirrors
Beauty is more than skin deep for these non-recyclable items.
NO: light bulbs
Take your CFL curly light bulbs to Best Buy, Walmart or a Home Improvement stores to recycle. Curly light bulbs are super important to recycle because they contain mercury!


YES: moving, cereal, or beverage boxes
All cardboard, even waxy juice boxes, welcome. Please flatten bulky boxes so more fits in our bins.
NO: Styrofoam
We collect Resident Hall styrofoam during Fall move-in and Spring move-out. Check with your R.A. for details or keep your eyes peeled for posters / signs around campus.


YES: soft-back books
That paperback novel that your backpack ate can live again as something new.
NO: hard-cover books
Hard-back (text) books break the recycling machines. Check with the bookstore where you got them, if they can’t be resold.


YES: metal cans

All the metal cans, food grade or other.

Other Metals

For batteries, electronics and other metal waste, contact EH&S Dept. with the form on the right.


YES but you have to go through this page for pickup. Official UD waste only, no residential or off-campus waste, sorry.

Contact Dept. of Health and Safety

6 + 3 =

UD has a long way to go on recycling


UD Single Stream Recycling Rate, FY2017

Did you know?

Recycling started as a student-led initiative in the early 1990s. Students even drove the garbage trucks.


Delware Single Stream Recovery Rates FY2016

Did you know?

Delaware has one of the best recycling rates in the USA, in part thanks to Single Stream state-wide. Numbers reported are the most recent available, click here for details.

Recycling relies on us. What will your impact be?

Avoid the 'C' word: Contamination. Recyclables only in the Recycle bin please.

It's always better to recycle than make new products. Glass is the least 'efficient'; it takes 21% less energy to recycle glass than make new.

The vast majority of food that goes into the Caesar-Rodney digesters comes off our plates. Very little is from kitchen scraps.

BYO bag when you go shopping: Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags every year, wasting 12 million barrels of oil.

All available cleaning chemicals used by UD Custodial Services are Green Certified.

FAQ for Recycling on Campus
We need blue bins, how do we get them?
Blue bins are provided by your department.


Students: request through your R.A. or Res Life

Offices and Classrooms: order through your department like any office supply item

I heard that stuff doesn't actually get recycled
FALSE! This is an urban legend on campus. Saw something and you’re concerned? Contact the Sustainability Manager, we investigate all reports.


  • UD delivers thousands of pounds of recyclable material each week to the DSWA Recycling Center at 1101 Lambsons Lane, New Castle DE
  • The Recycling Center can reject a truck if there is too much contamination mixed into the recycling. Please place recycling and waste in the correct bins!


Can I recycle plastic bags?
Not with the blue bins. No plastic bags, food wrap or other film plastics in Single Stream recycling.


  • Plastic Bags can be recycled in special bins at most grocery stores and big box stores
  • Plastic Bags damage machinery at the recycling plant and it’s crazy-dangerous to climb into those machines
  • BYO bag for regular shopping trips
What about spiral notebooks, staples, juice boxes?

There are a lot of special items out there and not every recycling center can accept them. In Delaware, we’ve go you covered.


  • Spiral notebooks are no problem, recycle them!
  • Envelopes with windows are so yummy, send them our way
  • Juice boxes and other waxed cardboard items are welcome, recycle away
  • Staples don’t stop this train, toss them in the blue bin
  • Glossy paper from fancy magazines is so recyclable in Delaware
  • Labels on containers are no problem, don’t worry about them

Styrofoam is a big “no-no”, sorry we can’t recycle that at this time.

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