MaterialsACCEPTABLE Items for Recycling
Mixed Paper
  • All office paper (staples are okay)
  • Newspaper, magazines, cataloges, journals, soft-cover books 
  • Mail and envelopes (window envelopes are okay)

DO NOT RECYCLE: Wax plastic coated paper cartons (e.g. from milk, juice, or soup), padded envelopes, paper towels, napkins, paper cups

*IMPORTANT: If the mixed paper contains any personal, protected, confidential, sensitive, regulated, or other NPPD, it MUST NOT be recycled. Please scroll down to "Shredded Paper (Confidential Documents) " below.   


Aluminum & Tin
  • Empty drink cans
  • Clean food cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Pie tins

DO NOT RECYCLE: Aluminum or tin that is contaminated with food, bottle and jar lids smaller then 2 inches

  • All clean plastic food containers (yogurt tubs, cottage cheese, etc.) 
  • Beverage bottles, (soda, water, etc.) 
  • Shampoo bottles, laundry detergent bottles

DO NOT RECYCLE: Containers contaminated with food or liquid, plastic bags, plastic film, lamination, plastic wrappers, packing materials, styrofoam, durable plastics (e.g. Tupperware, laundry bins, etc.) Black plastic

  • Glass jars and bottles

DO NOT RECYCLE: Broken glass, lab glass, window glass 

Cardboard & Paperboard
  • All cardboard boxes including shipping boxes (e.g. Amazon Prime boxes)
  • Thin non-corrugated cardboard (e.g. cereal boxes, tissue boxes)
  • "Clean" pizza boxes (pizza boxes with excessive cheese or grease can be composted) 

DO NOT RECYCLE: Excessively wet paper, any paper product with a wax or plastic coating 

For more details, consult the CSWD "Blue Bin Recyclables List



Aerosol Cans

Aerosol Cans

Non-hazardous aerosol

  • Cans such as whipping cream, shaving cream and spray cooking oil are okay to put in a recycle bin.

Hazardous aerosol (please DO NOT put in recycle bin)

  • Cans include spray paint, bug spray and oil lubricant.
  • These are picked up separately by Risk Management & Safety.
  • UVM Dining and Physical Plant shops have containers for aerosol can collection.

Appliances (Refrigerators, Air Conditioners, Microwaves, etc.)

Appliances including refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and microwaves

Submit a Planon request to arrange pickup of all appliances. Owning departments must empty, clean, defrost and unplug prior to pickup.

Laboratory equipment must have a Surplus Equipment Disposal Form (PDF) attached to each item. ALL lab equipment must be checked and decontaminated by Environment Healthy and Safety lab officer prior to removal.

Complete the surplus disposal form, send one copy via email to and print one copy and attach to each item being discarded. 



Batteries may contain heavy metals such as mercury, zinc, lead and cadmium or corrosive, reactive materials and thus should NOT be placed in regular trash or recycle bins. Batteries are collected in special recycling stations that are located throughout campus. You may also request a battery bucket for your department. 

Books, Hardcover & Softcover

Hardcover and softcover books

Hard cover books and text books have a glue binding and backer-board which cannot be recycled with other types of paper and must be kept separate. Submit a Planon Service request if you have a lot of books for recycling. 

Soft cover books can be discarded in recycling bins along with other mixed recycling. 


Cardboard and Boxes

cardboard box

PLEASE break down and flatten cardboard boxes. Large quantities should be brought directly to a mixed recycling dumpster outside. Small amounts may be placed next to any recycling bin in the hallway for Custodial Services to pick up. 


  • Pizza boxes are okay to recycle if not too messy, otherwise they can be composted.
  • Boxes need to be emptied and flattened. 
  • Freezer food cardboard containers are okay. 

Do Not Recycle:

  • Wax coated boxes such as produce boxes.
  • Boxes with excessive packing tape or duct tape.
  • Aseptic drink containers containing juice or milk. 

Cell Phones

old cell phones

Old cell phones and phone accessories are collected on campus to benefit Steps to End Domestic Violence, (STEPS) a local Burlington non-profit organization.

  • The collection is sponsored by the UVM Police Services.
    Please donate your phones in the box located in the UVM Police Services lobby at 284 East Avenue. It is open and accessible to the public 24 hours a day.
  • Phones dropped in the special recycling stations across campus will also be donated to STEPS.


Computers & Electronic Waste

computers and electronic waste

It is illegal to dispose of computers, printers and other electronics in trash or recycling containers. Consult our e-waste guide for proper disposal. To schedule a pickup of these items please submit a Planon service request.   

*Projector bulbs are not e-waste as they may contain mercury.
Environmental Health and Safety will pickup projector bulbs and newer LED projection lamps. Contact for more information. 


Light Bulbs

fluorescent light bulb

Incandescent (traditional-style bulbs) and LED bulbs are not hazardous and can be disposed of in regular trash. 

State law requires that certain bulbs be kept separate from other trash because they contain mercury and other hazards.

*Projector bulbs are not e-waste as they may contain mercury.
Environmental Health and Safety will pickup projector bulbs and newer LED projection lamps. Contact for more information. 

Kitchen Cooking Oil

Kitchen cooking oil

Used cooking oil from UVM dining facilities are collected for processing into biodiesel. Barrels are located at the loading dock of each dining facility.


Packaging and Peanuts

Packing peanuts, bubble wrap and other packaging plastics can not be recycled. While we don't have a formal collection program on campus for these materials please check  CSWD Packaging Reuse for local reuse options. 


Scrap metal

Metal objects such as metal shelving, motors, wire and pipe can be recycled but NOT in your regular recycle bin. If your department has any amount of scrap metal, please submit a Planon service request.

Recycle as scrap metal:

  • Metal furniture including desks, tables, shelving and chairs.
  • Any item consisting at least 50% metal
  • Steel and iron piping, rods, rebar, etc.
  • Aluminum, copper, wiring
  • Metal drums 

Metals requiring special procedure:

  • Computers, monitors and other electronic waste
  • Lab equipment
  • AC unit/CFC-containing appliances
  • Refrigerators and freezers 



Wood and wood pallets

Submit a Planon service request to request pick up of any wooden items. Clean wood is taken to Burlington's McNeil Generating Station to be chipped and burned to make steam for electric power generation. Dirty wood is discarded as trash. 


  • Tree parts and limbs
  • Wood pallets
  • Clean, untreated lumber


  • Painted, stained, treated or glued wood.
  • Plywood or particle board
  • Wood containing large nails or spikes

Furniture and Equipment

Surplus furniture

Unwanted or broken furniture and equipment is picked up by special request.  Submit a Planon service request under Surplus property pickup.

  • Examples include desks, chairs, file cabinets, office supplies, books, vehicles and equipment


Mercury Containing Device


It is illegal to dispose of any mercury containing device in the trash. Mercury devices should be picked up by the Environmental Health & Safety team.  Contact for more information or enter a waste tag online.


Paint and Paint Cans

empty paint cans

Paint and paint can disposal is handled by Environmental Health and Safety. Properly dispose of paint and paint cans. 


Propane & Sterno Canisters

propane canisters

Canisters that hold flammable fuels CANNOT be discarded in regular trash containers because they are pressurized and/or they contain residual hazardous flammable materials.

Sterno canisters (used in catering operations) are kept separate by UVM Dining staff and stored in secure labeled drums that are picked up by Environmental Healthy and Safety. 

Empty stove fuel and propane canisters are also collected by Environmental Health & Safety. Contact them at 656-5400 or email

Enter a waste tag online. 

Toner Cartridges

toner bottle

 Used toner cartridges, toner bottles and ink jet cartridges should be disposed of as e-waste. 

You can recharge your empty printer toner cartridge for less than buying a new one. Vermont Toner Recharge will pick up your empty toner cartridge and deliver you a new one. Not all models apply. 

Shredded Paper (Confidential Documents)

Shredded Paper

Departments must make their own arrangements for shredding services to safeguard the security of confidential information. See related UVM Policy on Records Retention (PDF). If your office shreds its own paper, please collect the shreds in clear plastic bags and place next to the recycle bins for Custodial staff to pick up. This helps minimize the mess and litter from those little bits of paper blowing around the hallways and outside the building. The shredded paper WILL get recycled, however, it needs to be collected in a separate bag. 

  • Departments may also contract with an outside vendor for on-site document destruction services. Check with UVM Purchasing Services for the most current contract supplier list. Contact the vendor directly to arrange for pickup and payment details.

Medication Disposal

Expired and unused medication and Rx prescriptions can be disposed of in the CVS Medicine Disposal box located in the UVM Police Services lobby located on the lower level at 284 East Ave.

Pipette Tip Boxes

pipette tip box

Clean boxes (with pipettes removed) can go in the general recycling (blue bin); any boxes involved in spills or that otherwise may have come into direct contact with the contents of pipettes should go in the trash as a precaution.