Recycling Work Unit

The Recycling Work Unit is responsible for all university waste disposals, with the exception of items classified as hazardous waste. Our recycling policy is based on sound environmental practices that meet or exceed all national, state and local laws, regulations and ordinances as they relate to resource recovery.

Our goal is to conserve our natural resources by reducing consumption of materials, reusing materials whenever possible, recycling materials using current technology and practicing wise procurement policies, including the purchase of recycled materials. Since sustainability is a very important part of our University's mission, our recycling program is more comprehensive than most universities. We have our own Waste Education Center where materials are separated into individual recycling streams.

Requests for recycling work can be processed through the computerized work order system. Just click on the "Submit A Work Order" button below.

For a handy, printable guide regarding Recycling vs. Trash, please click here.

 What type of material should be recycled?

  • Non-Soiled Paper
  • Shredded Paper  
  • Plastics  
  • Cardboard  
  • Steel & Tin  
  • Aluminum  
  • Dairy and Juice Cartons  
  • Books  
  • Glass  
  • Batteries  
  • Bulbs  
  • Electronics

 What type of material is trash?

  • Coated or Waxed Cardboard
  • Packets & Wrappers
  • Plastic Baggies
  • Styrofoam
  • Lids & Straws
  • Creamer Cups
  • Plastic Cutlery
  • Mirror and Window Glass

 Can we recycle pizza boxes?

Yes you may, as long as the food and waxed paper has been removed from the pizza boxes, they can then be recycled. 

For a handy, printable guide regarding Recycling vs. Trash, please click here.

 The disposition of recycled materials... surely people don't pay for this stuff?

There is a lot of value in recycling. Recycling not only benefits the community, but it also benefits the environment in many ways. If used materials were not recycled, new products would have to be made by extracting virgin, raw material from the Earth, through mining and forestry. Recycling keeps down the cost of mining these important, new materials and protects natural habitats for the future.

Just a few benefits of recycling:
  • Reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills and incinerators  
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals  
  • Prevents pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials  
  • Saves energy  
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions  
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations  
  • Helps create new well-paying jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in the United States.  
Listed below are several types of material that are recycled regularly at UWSP:
  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Compost
  • Metals
  • Wood and Wood Pallets
  • Cooking Oil
  • Aluminum
  • Fluorescent Lights
  • Waste Oil
  • Tires
  • Appliances
  • Batteries
  • Oil Filters
  • Antifreeze
In addition to the Recyling Work Unit's efforts, UWSP's Surplus Property Office offers a variety of services to the public and the university.  Surplus Properties coordinates the collection, processing and disposition of unneeded or unused surplus property generated on the UWSP campus. This includes the sale of surplus property, pick up and delivery (on campus only) and the recycling / disposal of items that are no longer usable.                    
You can call the Surplus Property Office for more information at (715) 346-4474 or visit their web site by clicking here.

 Is it food scraps or compost... you decide.

Items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy products, grains, bread, and eggshells can be composted. If it can be eaten or grown in a field or garden, it can be composted.

Post-consumer food waste is more challenging because of separation issues. Often, after the consumer is done with the food, the waste is subject to contaminants and a decision has to be made on how to separate food from other waste. This is done by having an extra trash can that is only used for food waste.

The UWSP Grounds Work Unit uses compost "pulp" collected at the Dining Services facilities for use as bedding on the many berms on campus. This is food waste that might normally go down the drain as part of the dish washing process but is instead collected and recycled. This compost pulp has a variety of uses and is known to improve soil quality and productivity as well as prevent and control erosion.  

To highlight how much compost is typically recycled at UWSP, during a period from July of 2014 to July of 2015, 125,870 pounds (62.9 US ton) of compost were collected from DeBot, Dreyfus University Center, TNR and CPS for reuse.   

 Who handles waste and special materials collection at the university?

The Facility Services Recycling Work Unit handles all of the waste pickup for the campus, making daily, weekday runs to each building for trash and recycling. We are also on campus during weekends when large events are taking place.

If your paper material is already shredded, it can be placed along side your other recyclables. Bulk material pickups are scheduled through the Facility Services Work Order Control Center (Example: A Professor is retiring and needs containers to recycle paper).  Please schedule your pickup of these materials by clicking the submit a work order button below.  Facility Services does not offer a confidential pickup or disposal service.

 I am having an event. How do I arrange for extra bins / dumpsters?

Recycling staff will provide recycling bins for your event. Recycling bins will be transported to and from your event for your convenience. Please submit a work order for your event to ensure that all your needs are met.  More information regarding campus events and Facility Services can be found HERE.
Facility Services Work Order Control Center at 715-346-4219 (ext. 4219)

 I hear the term "MRF" used when people discuss recycling. What is "MRF"?

A Materials Recovery Facility (pronounced MeRF) is a specialized plant that receives, separates and prepares recyclable materials for sale to end-user manufacturers.  It is important that the materials which come out of the MRF are clean, properly sorted and relatively free of impurities.
What is important to understand, is what makes UWSP's process unique. While most individuals and businesses in the Stevens Point area send their recycled material to the Portage County MRF, UWSP has taken a beneficial 'hands-on' approach to the process. UWSP separates it's own waste prior to introducing it into recycling streams. All recycled material (except for glass and plastic) is separated at the Waste Education Center by staff and students, then sent directly to recycling vendors. This is a uniquely educational experience for our students who learn the complexities and importance of recycling first hand.  
For additional information regarding the Waste Education Center, Please visit the UWSP Office of Sustainability's Waste Education Center page.
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