Commingle Recycling Program

Commingle Recycling is a system in which all recyclable items listed on our recycling signage are placed in the one collection bin labeled "Recycling," instead of being sorted and placed into individual containers. Eventually, commingled recycling is sorted into individual commodities. This takes place at a sorting facility AFTER the loads of commingled recycling are picked up and taken off campus by our recycling vendor.

In order to achieve optimal recycling rates, BGSU has a paired container policy, where recycling & landfill containers are placed side by side; ensuring a user-friendly approach that will help us meet our waste diversion goal. This is to encourage the community to recycle rather than placing recyclable items in the trash.  

The goal of the Recycling Program at BGSU is to preserve the environment, educate the BGSU community, and conserve natural resources and energy through sound solid waste management practices, and to provide the BGSU community with the best opportunity to recycle.

Help Us Prevent Contamination

Contamination (placing items that are not recyclable into the recycling container)  is the biggest problem facing the BGSU Recycling Program but can be lowered/eliminated with your help.  Remember:  Recycling is very region-specific. Just because an item has a recycling symbol or says "recyclable" on it DOES NOT necessarily mean it is recyclable at BGSU. Our recycling signage controls! No one goes through commingled recycling to remove contamination from the recycling; it is up to you.  Recycling loads tainted with excessive contamination are declared trash and taken to the landfill; a losing proposition for everyone, especially the environment. Contamination from non-recyclable items is the number one obstacle for commingle recycling. Contamination occurs when food waste, leftover liquids, or other non-recyclable items are placed into the "Recycling" bin and damages the other contents, making it unable to be recycled. Mixing in non-recyclable items jeopardizes the success of the whole program. Therefore, it is very important for each of us to ensure we are placing the appropriate material (that is also appropriately cleaned out) in the correct bin! If you have questions about certain items, please contact us! Major contaminants are plastic bags (including bags of recyclable items), paper towels/kleenex, disposable cups/lids/straws, pizza boxes, candy/food wrappers, containers, and disposable silverware.

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All recyclable items go into the "Recycling" container. ONLY these items are recyclable.

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All non-recyclable items go into the "Landfill" container

Accepted Recyclables

All items must be emptied, rinsed, and cleaned of food waste

Cardboard

Examples: Cereal Boxes, Coffee Sleeves, and Card Board Packing Boxes
Large cardboard should be taken to outside orange cardboard dumpsters.
No pizza boxes of any kind!

Paper

Examples: Mixed Office Paper, Envelopes, Cardstock, Butcher Block Paper, Sticky Notes
No construction paper, paper towels, kleenex, disposable cups/lids/straws, food packaging, or candy wrappers.

Plastic Bottles

Examples: Pop & Water Bottles, Laundry Detergent Bottles
No disposable cups, lids, or straws of any kind; no fast food bowls/containers, no plastic silverware.
No plastic bags, food wrappers, shrink wrap, or other misc. plastic packaging or parts.

Cans

Examples: Aluminum Beverage Cans, Steel Cans
Please empty out and rinse

Unbroken Glass

Examples: Unbroken Beverage Bottles, Food Jars
Please empty out and rinse
No mirrors, lightbulbs, broken glass, or any other glass items.

Newspaper and Magazines

Examples: Newspaper, Magazines, Posters, Phone Books, Paperback Books

Non-Recyclables = Landfill

Any item that contains food waste, grease, or leftovers cannot be recycled

Food Containers and Disposable Cups

Examples: Disposable Cups/Lids/Straws of any kind, Paper Plates, Styrofoam, Paper Food Holders, Greasy Pizza Boxes

Disposable Cups

Examples: Single-Use Beverage Cups, Plastic Lids, and Straws of any kind

Napkins

Examples: Napkins, Paper Towels, and Tissues (Kleenex)

Condiment Cups

Examples: Salad Dressing Packets, Condiment Cups, and Ketchup Packets

Food and Wrappers

Examples: Any Food, Chip Bags, Plastic Wrap, Dirty Paper Sub Wraps, Candy Wrappers, and Aluminum Foil

Frequently Asked Questions

Reduces Greenhouse Gases

  • All materials that go into a landfill stay there for hundreds and even thousands of years before they decompose. Landfill waste generates greenhouse gases, responsible for climate change, including methane. Methane is significantly more harmful than any other greenhouse gas. Some items that are placed into a landfill will actually never fully decompose. Recycling all the materials that we can helps to conserve the amount of landfill space available in the United States while also decreasing the need to build new or expand current landfills

Create Jobs and Industry

  • Recycling products creates a wide array of job opportunities and income for Ohio residents. More than 100,000 jobs in Ohio, which is more than landfills provide, are directly dependent on recycling. The recycling industry also generates over $22 billion in sales a year in Ohio alone.

Save Energy and Resources

  • Recycling materials to make them into a new product helps to reduce the invasive processing of natural resources. Creating products from recycled materials also helps to conserve energy because there is no need for labor intensive resource processing and extraction. Using recycled aluminum to create cans saves up to 95% of the energy it costs to create a can from virgin natural resources.

It's the Law

  • Forty-Four states, including Ohio, have passed legislation forcing the reduction of waste.  BGSU currently falls under these laws, and must continually meet state goals on waste stream reduction.  House Bill 592 set a goal of reducing the solid waste stream in Ohio by 25% by 1994.  Ohio surpassed the expectations of the bill by reaching the goal in the year 1990.  In 1995 the goal was revised to reduce the solid waste stream by 50% and increase the recycling objective to 25% by the year 2000.

Easy! Instead of throwing away your paper, plastics, cans, glass, and cardboard, recycle them! Paper, plastics, cans, and glass are all collected in the same bin labeled “Recycling”; just find a bin and put it in! It is essential that recyclable items are rinsed out and free of residue to avoid contamination. Cardboard can be flattened with packing materials removed, and placed in any large orange dumpster located outside buildings across campus. See “What Should I Recycle” tab for more information on what can be recycled. Any other waste should be placed in the bins labeled “Landfill”.

Paper

  • Recycle these items in the commingle bins labeled "Recycling":

    • Office paper
    • Newspaper
    • Cardstock
    • Butcher Block paper
    • Envelopes
    • Phone books

    • Magazines/Catalogs

            No construction paper, paper towels, kleenex, disposable cups/lids/straws, food packaging, or candy wrappers.

Cans

  • Recycle these items in the commingle bins labeled "Recycling":
    • Aluminum Cans
    • Steel Cans

            Please rinse out cans before recycling to avoid food contamination

Plastic Bottles

  • Recycle these items in the commingle bins labeled "Recycling":
    • Pop & Water Bottles
    • Laundry Detergent Bottles

            No plastic bags, food wrappers, shrink wrap, or other misc. plastic packaging or parts.

            Please rinse out materials before recycling to avoid food contamination

Glass

  • Recycle these items in the commingle bins labeled "Recycling"
    • Glass Bottles
    • Glass Jars

    Please empty and rinse

Cardboard

  • Recycle these items in the bins labeled "Recycling = All-in-One":
    • Small cardboard items such as cereal boxes

  • Recycle larger pieces of cardboard, such as moving boxes, in the large orange dumpsters labeled "cardboard recycling" outside of most buildings across campus after flattening and removing all packaging materials. Do not jam large cardboard into commingle bins!

    Please no heavily soiled cardboard boxes, such as pizza boxes.

Batteries

Scrap Metal

  • The BGSU Recycling Program accepts scrap metal such as futon frames for recycling.  Arrangements for pick-up of material can be made by contacting the Campus Operations Help Desk (419-372-2251) or by submitting an online "Maintenance Request" found in the "Misc. Services" menu of myBGSU.

Still Useable Clothes, Shoes, & Electronics

  • There are many local charities, organizations, and business that benefit from these such donations such as Goodwill, Best Buy, and the Cocoon Shelter. You can also contact Campus Sustainability about donating to the BGSU ReStore at greenbg@bgsu.edu.

Broken Electronics

  • BGSU recycles all types of electronic items. Does it have a plug or is battery-operated? Submit a "Maintenance Request" found in the "Misc Services" menu in myBGSU.  

On-Campus

  • Paper, newspaper, cans, plastics, glass, and small cardboard items are all accepted in any commingle bin labeled “Recycle”, located in every building across campus (see What to Recycle tab for more specific information on what is accepted in the recycling bins)
  • Large cardboard items can be deposited into large orange dumpsters labeled "cardboard recycling" found throughout campus, after flattening and removing all packing materials.
  • Electronic boxes can be found at numerous locations through campus
  • Scrap Metal should be brought to Campus Operations and notify the BGSU Recycling Program
  • For large recyclable items, contact greenbg@bgsu.edu or bring them to Campus Operations to be recycled

Off-Campus

  • Off campus students residing in Bowling Green, are encouraged to take their recyclables to the BG Recycling Center.  The BG Jaycees Recycling Center is open 24 hours and  located at 1040 North College Drive, just west of the Wood County Airport.  The BG Recycling Center can be reached by calling 1 (419) 352-5446.
  • Don't throw recyclables in the trash! Recycling stations are placed throughout campus for your convenience!

Recycling Fun Facts

Updated: 11/09/2022 12:36PM