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Waste Reduction & Recycling

When it comes to reducing, recycling, and reusing, there are not many institutions that do it better than UW Oshkosh! Our campus has been recycling since the 1980s and we continue to improve waste mitigation in accordance with the University’s Sustainability Plan.


Single stream recycling announcementSingle stream recycling indoor binTrex recycling boxes

Fast facts:

  • We currently have a single stream recycling system: paper, cardboard, plastics, cans, and glass can all be combined. Look for the blue bins in academic buildings and office spaces. Our outdoor recycling bins are green.
  • Recycleables should be loose, NOT bagged. Bagged recyclables are sorted out by the city/county program and end up in the landfill instead!
  • Plastic grocery & newspaper bags, plastic film, and bubble wrap cannot be recycled in the blue bins. These materials clog the sorting system at a regular facility and must be recycled at a special facility. UWO partners with Trex, who instead uses such plastic to create durable decking materials and outdoor furniture. There are multiple large, square, white dropoff bins around campus in the following locations:
    • Reeve (across from Admin offices and at Bookstore entrance)
    • Polk (entrance)
    • Sage hall (main entrance and 3rd floor near ES offices)
    • Clow (near Clow Cafe and 2nd floor Clow faculty offices)
    • Dempsey (2nd floor, near Admin. Services)
    • Halsey (1st floor, north)
  • We have an e-waste drive every year  to collect cell phones, single-use and rechargeable batteries, printer cartridges, computers, etc. This year's is Tuesday, April 19 from 7:30-1pm in the Blackhawk parking lot.
  • Our facilities and maintenance teams recycle tires, oil, and metals.
  • Recent construction projects have achieved recycling rates of 85-96%. 
  • In 2015, we collected 537 pounds of food from students in res halls during Move Out Week and donated it to the Oshkosh Area Community pantry 
  • We have run public events involving the arts, called TRASHformation, in partnership with Los Angeles-based RuckusRoots.


Over the years we have seen an increase in campus waste mitigation & diversion, but most importantly, we have also seen decreases in waste generationFor more information on the waste stream at UW Oshkosh, view the  2010 Waste Audit Presentation and Report produced by students in the Environmental Studies 390, a topics course focused on Campus Sustainability.Learn more about waste management at UWO in the Campus Sustainability Plan.

UWO Trash and recycling graph 2010UWO Recycling Graph


Wondering how to recycle waste at home? Want to know where you can take hazardous materials? Check out the Winnebago County Waste Department for more info!

Want more info about the process your recycled materials go through after they're picked up? Watch this short video about the Tri-Country Single Stream Recycling Facility.

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