University of Richmond is committed to diverting 75% of our waste from the landfill by 2025 through Rethink Waste efforts that include reducing, reusing, donating, composting, and recycling. The University uses mixed or single-stream recycling on campus, which means that all recyclable materials can go in any blue recycling bin. Recycling and composting are important pieces of the University's sustainability efforts, but remember that reducing and reusing are even more important.

The University uses blue recycling bins and black, grey, or tan landfill bins. Composting bins at participating dining locations can be identified by bin signage. Check out our Composting page to see where you can currently compost your food waste on campus. Please read the labels on bins to ensure that your trash, compost, and recycling end up in the correct place. Meeting our ambitious waste diversion goal is only possible if each faculty, staff, and student do their part to recycle or compost and be a green spider.

Waste and Environmental Justice

Waste and toxic material disposal sites are often located near communities facing racial and financial disparities. Landfills generate methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. There is also an increased risk of exposure to polluted air and water from contaminated waste sites, posing a threat to human health. Approximately three out of five Black Americans live near a toxic waste site that is mismanaged.

Learn How to Reduce Waste on Campus

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  • What can I recycle in general recycling 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 general recycling bins on campus?

    -Any material with substantial food debris

    -Containers filled with liquid

    -Alkaline batteries (please use the special recycling bins in the lobby of Boatwright Library or the second floor of the Tyler Haynes Commons)

    -Plastic bags or film (please use special Trex bins, locations listed in the dropdown box below)

    -Styrofoam of any kind

    -Light bulbs

    -Mirrors, drinking glasses


    -Electronics (E-Waste collection occurs each spring, or you can use the bins in the lobby of Boatwright Library or the second floor of the Tyler Haynes Commons )


    -Utensils and straws

  • Where can I recycle plastic bags?

    Look for one of the six Trex bins around campus to recycle plastic bags, bubble wrap, produce bags, plastic shipping envelopes, and product overwrap. For every 500 pounds we recycle, we will receive a free bench from Trex. You can find bins in these locations:

    -Tyler Haynes Commons 2nd Floor
    -Jepson Hall Ground Floor Entrance
    -International Center 3rd Floor
    -Dining Hall Lobby
    -Post Office Lobby
    -North Court Academic First Floor

  • 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 computers whenever possible. Once a unit has reached the end of its useful life at the University, it is recycled. The recycling process reduces the University’s environmental impact from electronics.

    For personal electronics, the University has special collection bins in the lobby of Boatwright Library and on the second floor of Tyler Haynes Commons. UR also hosts a free e-waste collection each spring.

  • Where can batteries be recycled?

    Call University Facilities for information on disposing of lithium batteries at (804) 289-8600. Alkaline battery recycling is available at special bins in the lobby of Boatwright Library and on the second floor of Tyler Haynes Commons.

  • 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.

  • Where can I donate items?

    Formerly the University of Richmond Office Supply Exchange (UROSE), Spider Exchange is the University’s "free store" on campus that accepts gently used donations.

    Donate clothes, school supplies, or other small items at the Goodwill bin on campus outside of Marsh Hall. You can also bring donations to local thrift stores like Goodwill, Diversity Thrift, Fan Tastic Thrift, Salvation Army, or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

    Finally, the University hosts the Big Yard Sale at the end of each spring where students can donate unwanted items during move-out.

  • How can I reduce waste?

    -Always carry a reusable water bottle or coffee cup.

    -Compost food scraps and food-related compostable materials at compost bins located around campus.

    -Keep a scrap paper basket beside printers.

    -Always print double-sided.

    -Skip the plastic bag and carry a reusable bag instead.

    -Buy second-hand clothing, furniture, and other items when possible.