Minimizing Waste Across Campus

One of Ohio State's most ambitious goals is to achieve zero waste by 2025 by diverting 90% of waste away from landfills. Campus diversion rate performance will be significantly impacted by educating students, faculty and staff and providing ample opportunities to recycle, prevent and minimize waste.

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Comprehensive List10 RECYCLING Tips


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Paper coffee cups

Most paper coffee cups contain a coating for insulation and waterproofing, which makes them difficult to be recycled. Please dispose of your cup in the trash. (Cardboard sleeves can be removed and placed into the recycling bins.)

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Plastic bags

Plastic bags get caught in the recycling facility sorting equipment, causing expensive time delays and fixes. Recycle plastic bags at your local grocery store.

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Napkins, paper towels, tissues

Napkins, paper towels, tissues, etc., cannot be recycled. Often, these items can be composted, but if compost bins are unavailable, please discard them into the trash.

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Plastic Jugs, Tubs, Bottles

Recycle jugs, bottle-shaped plastic and tubs including jello, fruit, butter, cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.



Why recycle? 

There are many important reasons to minimize, reduce, and recycle materials at Ohio State.

  • Recycling conserves scarce natural resources such as oil, water, minerals, and trees.  

  • Recycling helps reduce water and air pollution. 
  • Recycling conserves energy as it takes less energy to make new products from recycled materials compared to using virgin materials.
  • Recycling reduces harmful greenhouse gas emissions by decreasing the amount of trash dumped in landfills and the amount of methane emitted to the atmosphere.
  • Recycling is an easy and efficient way to participate in the university's sustainability initiatives.

How can I recycle at Ohio State?

Recycling at Ohio State is single stream (also referred to as co-mingled), meaning all recyclables are placed in the same bin instead of being separated. However, trash still needs to be placed in a different container. Many side-by-side trash and recycling containers have been placed around campus in common areas and classrooms. 


Do you provide document destruction services?

We do not have certification to provide document destruction services. For a list of all certified shredding providers that meet the university's PCI requirements, please contact the Office of Financial Services at 614-292-7792.

Where can I recycle books?

Donations are accepted at University Libraries Tech Center. Learn more about book donations.

Where can I recycle ink cartridges?

Contact OSU STORES at 614-292-2694 to arrange recycling or fill out the online form. You can also recycle cartridges through Earth911.

Where can I recycle electronics?

For electronics such as computer parts contact OSU SURPLUS at 614-688-3545

How do I recycle batteries?

Contact Environmental Health and Safety at 614-292-1284

How do I request additional recycling containers for student move in and move out?

Contact Service2Facilities at 614-292-HELP if you need any additional recycling containers.

How does the Wexner Medical Center recycle?

Red recycling bins can accept cardboard, glass, aluminum, and bottle-shaped plastics. 

Help us protect patient privacy by placing all paper in shredding bins. Documents placed in the shredding bin cannot be removed and will be destroyed. 


Where can I learn more about recycling in Columbus?

Learn more by visiting the City of Columbus.

How can I order indoor recycling/trash can sets or replacement panels for my building?

Login to Workday, then click ‘Request Travel or Purchase’ from the Applications menu. On the Request Travel or Purchase page, select ‘Request to procure goods and/or services.’ On the Create Requisition page, select ‘Buckeye Buy Request’ under Requisition Type. Update any other necessary fields on this page, then click OK. On the next screen, click ‘Connect to Supplier Website.’ On the Connect to Supplier Website page, click ‘Connect.’ On the next step, you may need to click in the center of the screen to minimize a pop-up menu to see the Procure page fully unobstructed.   

  • If you are ordering an indoor recycling and trash can set, enter ‘CONTAINER, TRASH & RECYCLING, SIDE BY SIDE, 30 GAL, WITH LID’ in the search box next to Item Search, then hit the ‘Enter’ key on your keyboard. Enter the desired quantity then click ‘Add to Cart.’ Note: This is only for the bare frame. You will also need to add panels to complete this set. If your building is part of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, enter ‘51010M’ in the search box next to Item Search, then hit the Enter key on your keyboard. If your building is not part of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, enter ‘51010A’ in the search box next to Item Search, then hit the Enter key on your keyboard. Enter the desired quantity then click ‘Add to Cart.’
  • If you only need to order replacement panels for an indoor ErgoCan recycling or trash bin, enter ‘51010M’ in the search box next to Item Search for any building that is part of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, or enter ‘51010A’ for all other buildings on campus, then hit the Enter key on your keyboard. Enter the desired quantity then click ‘Add to Cart.’

After all desired items have been added to the cart, click the shopping cart icon at the upper right hand side of the screen, review the items and quantities in your cart, then click “Submit.”  


Recycle Right, Buckeyes!