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UMD Sustainability Banner: Waste - Reducing the amount we generate. Reusing whatever we can. Recycling the rest.

Currently, UMD boasts a 52% recycling rate (amount of waste recycled compared to total waste). As part of a commitment to reduce campus emissions, as outlined in the recent Energy Action Plan, UMD hopes to make that percentage even greater.

What can be recycled at UMD?

Bottles & Cans

All plastics with a recycling symbol, Aluminum Cans, Tin Cans, Plastic Bottles, Glass Bottles. The can be disposed of in marked containers located in public hallways and food areas throughout the campus.

New recycling bins with sustainability stickers on them.


Nearly 100% of the paper materials are recyclable. Active participation by every office on campus is needed to insure that the recycling program will remain successful.

Corrugated Cardboard

Check with your recycling liaison regarding the procedure your department is using to dispose of corrugated cardboard. Typically, boxes are removed daily by custodial staff. However, pizza boxes and other food storage corrugated cardboard is not accepted.

Confidential Materials

Quite a few departments have purchased the small shredders that fit over a bin to dispose of their confidential materials. The shredded paper is then collected by our staff on their regular pick up routes. Recycling Services also offers large bins for document destruction when staff are moving or purging large quantities of confidential material.

Electronic and Hazardous Waste

MPIRG e-waste collection binElectronic waste (e-waste) contains many heavy metals and other harmful materials. The Environmental Health and Safety Office provides e-waste boxes to departments for removing e-waste. For information on e-waste and other hazardous material recycling, contact The Environmental Health and Safety Office at x6764.

E-waste drives are a great way to get your campus organization involved in a sustainable initiative. For the Spring 2011 Sustainability Fair, MPIRG at UMD worked with the Sustainability Office and the Environmental Health and Safety Office to organize an e-waste drive. In one day, 780 lbs of e-waste were collected.

Waste Reducing Initiatives at UMD

Many small changes at UMD help to reduce waste in big ways. Facilities Management installed BigBelly solar intelligent waste collection systems in many outdoor areas of campus. These receptacles reduce waste by not only providing outdoor recycling, but they also use solar PV cells to compact trash so the receptacles have to be emptied less. In addition, the units send text messages to notify grounds keepers when they need to be emptied.

Darland Administration Building has now eliminated desk-side waste bins and has replaced them with recycle bins. This has helped encourage recycling.

When drinking fountains need to be replaced on the UMD campus, they aren't replaced by the same old model. New fountains, the EZH2O, on campus include a water bottle filling spout and a sensor for hands free operation. An LCD, known as a "green ticker," keeps track of how much water the unit uses and displays how many water bottles were saved by the unit. These installations can be found across campus.

Auxiliary Services is involved in many efforts concerned with reducing waste. In the dining center, waste is reduced by careful meal planning, purchasing, serving, and waste management. For more information on this and other waste reducing initiatives, see Auxiliary Services Sustainability Efforts. You can help Auxiliary Service to reduce their waste by:

Campus Cleanups

Over the winter, waste tends to accumulate on the UMD campus as it is covered by the snow before it can be removed. This results in complaints from neighbors around the campus who know just how beautiful the UMD campus can be. In Spring 2011, one biology class collected 18 bags of garbage and another 15 bags of recycling.

The Sustainability Office hosts fall and spring campus cleanups and is looking for volunteers! This is a great opportunity for any student, faculty, staff, or class to get involved in the campus community.

Contact Information

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Last modified on 02/14/13 07:35 AM
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