Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about Pick-Ups and Bins

How can I get my recyclables picked up?
Standard recycle bins for paper and containers (a.k.a. bottles and cans) are serviced once per week or once every-other-week, depending on your building's schedule. Find out when we'll be in your building here. If you have special materials or need additional bins, please use our online service request form to request pick-up. We will fulfill your request the next time we visit your building, or sooner if you indicate on the form that your request is urgent.

When will my building be serviced?
Visit our Locations & Schedule page to see where bins are located and when we visit your building. We service each building either every-other-week or once per week, depending on volume.

Where is the nearest recycle bin?
Campus Recycling has thousands of pickup locations distributed amongst all buildings on campus. To find the location nearest you, check our Locations & Schedule link. Additionally, Campus Recycling has approximately 60 exterior Walkway Recycling containers for use by pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

How can I request additional bins or signage?
To request additional bins, use our online service request form. Select which bin you need and select the "drop off" option in the drop-down menu. Additional signage can be downloaded here or if you would like to receive full color printed versions of any of these signs, please contact Andrea Norris via email or at 541-737-5398.

My recycle bin is overflowing. What should I do?
If your bin must be serviced immediately (i.e. cannot wait until your next service day), please use our online service request form to request pick-up. To prevent future overflow problems, please assist us in determining the reason for the overflow. If your bin is overflowing because you temporarily have additional recycling (e.g. clean-out project), the same online service request form can be used to request larger carts to suit your needs. Other reasons may be that the recycle bin is not on our route, is located in a locked room inaccessible to our crew or that your building needs more capacity. Contact us to discuss options and we'll find a solution together.

I am cleaning out my office, can you pick-up my paper more often?
While in most cases we are not able to pick-up more frequently, we are able to provide temporarily placed larger bins for clean-out projects. We can loan you one or more large carts, drop off extra bags, or, if none of these options work for you, we can do a special pickup. Please use our online service request form to request additional bins or a pickup.

Where can I get a compost bin?
To request composting for your department, use our online request form.

Questions about Recycling

Do you recycle ____?
To see a full list of everything that can be recycled at OSU instructions on how to do so, please visit our Recycle Guide main page.

What plastic is recyclable?
On campus, we recycle four shapes of rigid plastic: Bottles, Tubs, Jugs, and Jars. These items should all be placed in any Containers recycling bin. Please visit our Container Recycling Guide and/or watch this video for further details on what plastic is recyclable.

What does the triangle on plastic items mean?
The triangle on plastic shows what type of plastic resin the item is made of. This DOES NOT determine whether the item is recyclable or not. Please use the shape of the plastic to determine if it is able to be recycled. Please visit our Container Recycling Guide and/or watch this video for further details on what plastic is recyclable.

How do I recycle Styrofoam?
We accept packaging peanuts to be reused (box/bag them, write "recycle" & place next to a regularly serviced recycle bin). We are able to collect other Styrofoam in some cases; please view this video and/or contact us to discuss details and options.

Where do I take cardboard for recycling and how can I dispose of pizza boxes?
Around campus, flattened corrugated cardboard is recycled in cardboard cages, outside your building, typically next to your trash dumpster(s). Please remove all contents and plastic. See more about cardboard recycling here and in this video. EMPTY pizza boxes are only OK if not contaminated with food. Small amounts of oil are OK. Portions of cardboard saturated with oil may be torn off from the rest and either composted or trashed.

How do I recycle my batteries?
Based on EPA and DEQ guidelines, batteries require special handling as a potential hazardous waste, and therefore are collected by Environmental Health and Safety, not Campus Recycling. Battery collection bins are located across campus, including in the Valley Library (near JavaII, at the bottom of the staircase), as well as UHDS service centers (McNary, Arnold and Marketplace West).

If you have a large quantity, box/bag them and request pickup using the EHS online hazardous waste pickup request form. For more information, please contact Pete Schoonover via email or call 737-3127.

I need to recycle confidential material, what do I do?
Campus Recycling can collect and destroy confidential materials; consult our Confidential Materials Destruction page for more info.

Do we compost at OSU?
Yes! Campus Recycling offers options to departments, which can be viewed on our Department Compost page. To request composting for your department, use our online request form.

In addition, many dining facilities on campus compost kitchen prep scraps and leftovers. Select residence halls also have composting options available. If you'd like to know more about why we do not currently offer public area compost bins, view this video.

Why are coffee cups not recyclable?
Besides the paper product being contaminated with food residue, there is also a plastic coating on most coffee cups. While there are some special cases for mixed materials being recyclable (see cartons in the containers and commingled recycle guides), the paper is still contaminated and therefore not recyclable. This is also described in this video.

How much is recycled at OSU?
See the most current statistics on how much the university is recycling on our about page.

Why should I recycle?
Learn about why recycling is important and the long history of recycling at OSU on our #BeavsRecycle page.

If you have questions not answered above, please contact us.