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General Recycling FAQs


How do I sort my waste into the bins found on campus?  

Waste bins on campus are color coded by waste type. It is important to learn which color is associated with each waste stream. Outlined below are the colors of the different types of bins on campus and what goes into each one. 

Blue: Paper and cardboard (non-food or beverage related)

Green: Plastic #1-2 and metal 

Yellow: All food products, food and beverage paper products and compostable plastics #7 

Grey: All other trash 

Using the correct bin is important because contamination (i.e. recyclable plastic mixed in with compostable food items) can reduce the quality of the downstream material and lead to our recycling or compost being rejected at the MRF.  

Why can’t I recycle all plastic?  

Not all plastics have equal value but in order to make recycling easier many communities were told to put all types of plastics into the recycling bins. When the value of the recycling commodities decreased it cost facilities too much to sort out and dispose of lower value plastics #3-6 so now we are only accepting plastics #1 & 2, bottles and jugs. 

Is all paper recyclable?  

All non-food or beverage related paper should be recycled in the blue bins found on campus. This includes all copy paper (white and color), all types of envelopes, file folders, magazines, newspapers, brown paper bags, post-it notes, cardboard, and paper board (cereal boxes), etc. Staples and paper clips do not need to be removed. Large cardboard boxes should be flattened with packaging materials removed and placed next to the recycling bin. 

Food and beverage related paper should be composted, NOT recycled. These items are likely contaminated with food which is troublesome for MRFs and oftentimes this kind of paper is not high enough quality to recycle. 

What materials should be composted?

ALL food items including meat and oil products, coffee grinds, tea bags, compostable food and ALL beverage containers sold in Homewood campus cafes and coffee shops (identifiable by a #7, PLA, “Eco” product, or corn symbol), food related paper products (disposable cups, plates, napkins, to-go containers), compostable utensils (off white and marked compostable), and pizza boxes should be placed into the yellow slim jims or designated compost receptacles in the dining facilities.

So what is left to go in the trash can?

Fortunately, much of what you generate on campus is compostable or recyclable; however, there are still some items that we don’t accept for recycling or composting. This includes glass, plastic #3-6, polystyrene (a.k.a. Styrofoam), plastic bags, chip bags, candy wrappers, condiment packets, single brew coffee cups (e.g. Keurig cups), ceramics., and non-container glass. 

Remember there are special programs for the highlighted items listed above so while they cannot go in the standard recycling bins students and staff can collect them separately for recycling. 

We know that recycling can be a little confusing and sometimes stressful so we hope the information provided above has made it easier. However, it is important to reduce contamination in the bins as much as possible so when in doubt, throw it out (into the incinerate bin).  

Where do all the items I dispose of end up?  

All of the waste generated on campus is transported to the appropriate waste management facility. Below is a list of facilities matched to each waste stream. 

Compost – Western Branch Composting Facility, Upper Marlboro, MD 
Trash – Wheelabrator Incinerator in Baltimore, MD 
Paper and Cardboard – Encore Recycling, Laurel, MD 
Commingled (Metal & Plastic) – Goode Companies, Temple Hills, MD 
Electronics – HiTECH, Oklahoma City, OK 
Terracycle – Terracycle Headquarters, Trenton, NJ 

Where can I learn more about waste diversion on campus?  

Homewood Recycling has a Facebook page and an Instagram account so please follow us to learn more and stay up to date on waste reduction and diversion tips and events. We also have videos on YouTube about a number of programs. 

If you want more details about the recycling industry and the recycling process here on the Homewood Campus, learn more here.  

Can I use the Recycling Request form for campuses other than Homewood?

No. This form is for waste and recycling services on the Homewood campus only. Please contact your campus facilities office for information about waste services on your campus.


Recycling Services


Leana Houser


Brandon Riley

FY21 Hourly Rates:
Overtime: $54.15



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