Recycling at UofL is comprehensive and easy...but it depends on your cooperation!
- Reducing - avoiding unnecessary purchases, resource consumption, and excess packaging.
- Reusing - swaping surplus property and choosing reusable items (mugs, bottles, cloth bags & napkins, rechargeable batteries, etc.)
- Recycling - all of the items listed below!
Single Stream Recycling
- Any recycling bin on all three UofL campuses can be used to recycle all types of paper, cardboard, plastics, metals, and glass.
- It doesn't matter what color, number, or how clean or empty your item is. If you think it might be recyclable, please put it in one of our single-stream bins. Small amounts of contamination will be sorted out.
- Learn more about UofL's Single Stream Recycling program which has been in place since 2010.
- Physical Plant launches Recycling 2.0 (UofL Today, June 26, 2014)
Electronic Waste Recycling
- UofL's E-Waste recycling program is currently accepting only departmental items, though we hope to offer personal e-scrap recycling soon. It is handled by UofL Surplus (1901 S Floyd St.).
- We can recycle any electronic consumer items, including: all computers, monitors, televisions, printers, copiers, scanners, servers, networking equipment, fax machines, telephones and cellphones, RAM/memory, hard drives, battery backups, and peripherals such as keyboards, mice, speakers, AC adapters, and mixed computer cables/wires.
- As of November 2015, all these E-Scrap items are recycled by our contractor, PowerHouse Recycling in Salisbury, NC. Their goal is to be a zero landfill facility. UofL pays no shipping costs and receives a modest per-pound payment for most items. UofL pays per-pound to recycle non-flat screen TVs and CRT monitors.
- Watch a video of what happens to your E-waste when you recycle it at UofL!
- Surplus also accepts from UofL departments only CDs, VHS tapes, audio cassettes, floppy disks and DVDs for recycling. These items must be sent to the warehouse without cases or sleeves. Do not send electronic media that contains sensitive or University proprietary information. Refer to Information Security Office policy IS PS016 for the proper disposal method of electronic media containing sensitive information.
- All these items contain toxins and reusable components which should be kept out of the normal waste stream.
- Here's how to get items picked-up for recycling:
Step 1: One of the following forms must be completed for the e-scrap item(s) to be picked up. All forms are located at the Inventory Control/Surplus Property website:
1. A pick-up request for computer hard-drives and laptop computers must be submitted using the “Computing Device Surplus Certification” form.
2. All other electronic items with a UofL Property tag bar-code must be submitted on a “TRANOVER” form (regardless of value).
3. All other electronic items valued over $1000 must be submitted on a “TRANOVER” form.
4. All other electronic items valued under $1000 should be submitted on a “TRANUND” form.
Step 2: After your form has been submitted on-line and has been reviewed by the appropriate department, Physical Plant personnel will come to your location and pick up designated items for reuse or recycling.
- UofL also has a Printer Cartridge Recycling program for departments. Simply contact the Stockroom at 852-5890 to obtain a cartridge collection
container and then alert Stockroom personnel when the collection container needs to be emptied. Pickup will be made as regular deliveries from Central Receiving are made in your area.
- Did you know that UofL recycles over 4500 pounds of batteries every year?
- The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) manages the collection and recycling of batteries for the University.
- Basic instructions for battery recycling at UofL. All battery types are accepted, including:
- Alkaline (A, AA, AAA, C, D, 9-volt)
- Lithium hydride, sealed (Li)
- Nickel-cadmium, sealed (Ni-Cad)
- Nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH)
- Lead-acid, wet-celled (vehicle and golf cart type)
- Lead batteries, sealed (Pb)
- Mercury (Hg)
DEHS provides buckets for battery recycling collections. Learn what happens to those batteries here:
- DEHS offers departments green buckets to collect batteries for recycling and over 50 green buckets have been placed at various departments throughout Belknap, HSC, and Shelby campuses. When the battery recycling container is near full, University personnel can submit a pick up request on-line.
- Look for battery collection buckets in these locations:
All UofL Housing front desks
Strickler Hall (REACH Rm 126)
Physics, Dept office
Biology, Dept office
Chemistry, Dept office
SAC – 3rd Floor Facilities office
Education, Dept office
Music, Dept office
Urban & Public Affairs, Mailroom
JB Speed, Rooms B-15, 207 and 221)
Sackett Hall, Rm 108
Health Sciences Center:
Library Commons – RSO office
Abel Admin – Dept office (3rd fl)
SPHIS - Admin Office (2nd Fl)
RRC – RRC admin office
Burhans Hall - KPPC
Founders Union – Delphi Center admin office
- On-site battery recycling is now available through University housing! Students living in Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Kurz Hall, Louisville Hall, Medical-Dental Apartments, Miller Hall, Threlkeld Hall, Unitas Tower & University Tower Apartments can drop off their used batteries for recycling at the housing Front Desk.
- Recycling tip: “Reduce, Recharge, and then Recycle!” Whenever possible use rechargeable batteries. The best rechargeable batteries are the “low self-discharge” Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) cells. These low-discharge batteries have a lot going for them: they come fully charged (like alkaline batteries), and they can hold their charge over many months. Because they can hold their charge for so long, they are suitable for low-drain devices like remote controls and flashlights.
- Since 2009, UofL has been a participant in a nation-wide program called Call2Recycle. Founded in 1994, Call2Recycle is a non-profit that collects and recycles batteries at no cost. Most of UofL's waste rechargeable batteries such as Nickel-Cadmiun, Nickel-Metal hydride, Li-Ion, and small sealed-lead acid batteries (<1 lb) are recycled through this program. Find out what happens to your batteries here.
Lighting: Lamp bulb/tube Recycling
Fluorescent light tubes and compact lamps contain a small amount of mercury. Recycling is the only responsible method of handling lighting waste. Fluorescent lamps are recycled for their mercury (Hg) content and comprehensive recyclers can also recover other metals, soda glass and phosphor powder from fluorescent bulbs.
- The Department of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS) manages the collection and recycling of lamps for the University.
- Basic instructions for recycling lighting at UofL. The lighting wastes included in this program include:
- Fluorescent light tubes
- Compact fluorescent bulbs, including U-tube and circular
- High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, such as high pressure sodium and mercury vapor
- Ultra-violet (UV) lamps
- Halogen and xenon lamps
- Physical Plant personnel collect and transport these spent lighting wastes generated from routine service and maintenance operations to several designated DEHS managed accumulation sites.
- University departments can submit a pick up request on-line.
On-site compact fluorescent lamp recycling is now available through University housing! Students living in Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Kurz Hall, Louisville Hall, Medical-Dental Apartments, Miller Hall, Threlkeld Hall, Unitas Tower & University Tower Apartments can drop off their used bulbs for recycling at the housing Front Desk.
It is very important to place the used bulb in a bulb box to prevent breakage and mercury leakage. If the original box is not available, students can request a foam pouch at the Front Desk.
- DEHS also collects other items which contain mercury, such as thermometers, tilt sensors, temperature switches, barometers, manometers, and thermostat probes.
How to Recycle Other Items
- Printer Cartridges
- Cell Phones
- Styrofoam - Clean, white, bagged Molded Polystyrene (e.g. packing material for computers, appliances, fragile items, etc. - does not include packing peanuts) can be dropped-off free at: Foam Fabricators, 950 Progress Boulevard, New Albany, IN 47150. 812-948-1696
For questions regarding recycling of toxins such as batteries, chemicals, and light tubes, please contact the Hazardous Waste Coordinator, Cathy Price (Dept. of Environmental Health & Safety) at 502-852-2956.
For all other recycling inquiries please contact UofL's recycling coordinator, Greg Schetler (Physical Plant) at 502-387-0707.
- UofL is turning organic wastes into valuable fertilizer! Learn how. Get your hands dirty with UofL's Composting Project! Follow on
- You can compost your own food scraps on campus in bins at the:
- Garden Commons (4 rolling compost bins next to the greenhouse behind the Cultural Center)
- Horticulture Zone garden behind the Urban Studies Institute at 426 W. Bloom St. (behind Bettie Johnson Hall).
- Special collection bins for plant-based materials picked-up for composting by EcoReps volunteers are available at:
- The Playhouse (Theatre Arts)
- Cardinal Park (Athletics)
- No meat, bones, or dairy products are accepted in any of these on-site composting bins. This helps reduce problems with odors and vermin.
- Please contribute any plant-based wastes such as coffee grounds, tea bags, fruit peels, vegetable scraps, bread waste, leaves, paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins, shredded newspapers & cardboard, etc.
- UofL's surplus property exchange program allows staff and faculty to swap reusable departmental items such as furniture, equipment, electronics, and supplies. Surplus items no longer needed by the University may be given to another state/governmental agency or non-religious non-profit organization. Unclaimed items are periodically auctioned to the public.
In Fall 2013, students in Group Recycling And Sustainable Solutions (GRASS) joined forces with the UofL Sustainability Council and Campus Housing to open a permanent Free Store in the basement of Unitas Hall (enter from Cardinal Blvd near Brook Street). The UofL Free Store is a space for the on-going free exchange of clean, durable
items like clothing, shoes, electronics, small appliances, household items, bath & beauty supplies, books, school & art supplies, non-perishable food, and more.
The store is run by volunteers and is open to all UofL students and employees set hours each week during the regular academic year. Volunteers wanted! Follow the Free Store on .
- In April 2016, UofL solidified an on-going partnership with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky to capture even more items for reuse. Permanent Goodwill collection bins are now available in the lobbies of all nine Belknap Campus Housing locations: Bettie Johnson Hall, Community Park, Kurz Hall, Louisville Hall, Medical-Dental Apartments, Miller Hall, Threlkeld Hall, Unitas Tower & University Tower Apartments. Please use these bins at your convenience to donate any of the following items and help us keep more stuff out of the landfill:
• Other textiles (towels, linens, curtains, pillows)
• Books, music, media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, computer/gaming software)
• Accessories (purses, backpacks, belts, neck ties, hats)
Goodwill CANNOT accept any of the following items: Glass, Paint, Chemicals, Car batteries, Tires, Computers or computer components, or Televisions.
- During Move-Out Time, UofL residents are also encouraged to exchange reusable items through the "Lighten Your Load" (or "Give and Go") collections and associated temporary Free Stores hosted at the end of the year by Campus Housing in partnership with Goodwill Industries of Kentucky. During UofL's 2015 Give & Go Move-Out Waste Reduction campaign, students donated 8,475 pounds of reusable goods to Goodwill! Look for signs and collection bins as you think about moving out!
- Prior to the opening of the UofL Free Store, roughly 2000 pounds/year of used clothes and shoes were collected from 2012-14 in light green bins set up by a non-profit organization at Miller Hall, Threlkeld Hall, Kurz Hall, Unitas Hall, and University Tower Apartments. The Gaia Movement is a non-profit organization which uses revenue from used clothing to support and on‐going environmental and community development projects around the world. Clothes collected at UofL helped fund efforts including a solar power project in Quissanga District in Mozambique; a biogas project in Capo Delgado Province, Mozambique; a solar power project in Changalane District, Mozambique; and the Seeds for Life project in India.
- Zero-Waste Reusable To-Go Club: In Fall 2015, we launched a brand new take-out service in truly sustainable style – without adding to the waste stream!! Purchase your Ville Grill To-Go Club membership in person at The Ville Grill for just $10. Membership earns you a reusable container, unlimited washing of the container and compostable cutlery & napkins, should you need them.
UofL Recycling Statistics
UofL Solid Waste & Recycling Annual Trends
|Year||Total Waste Generated (lbs.)||Waste Landfilled (lbs.)
||Waste Recycled (lbs.)||Percent Diverted from Landfill|
*2012 & 2013 figures include coal ash recycled. The primary cause for a the 2011 drop in landfill diversion was an unusually high percentage of construction debris in our waste stream.
|UofL Annual Recycling Totals
|(Number of) Lamps/Bulbs
|(Number of) Printer Cartridges
|Waste Petroleum Products||3,115||1,832
|Cooking Oil||no data||no data||no data||no data||15,692
|Wood||no data||no data||no data||no data||125,940|
|Gypsum||no data||no data||no data||no data||49,000|
|Concrete||no data||no data||no data||no data||118,800|
UofL competes annually in this friendly 8-week competition among university recycling programs to reduce waste, increase recycling and composting rates, and raise conservation awareness across campus! Keep up with the Cards progress at the RecycleMania website.
Help the Cards to victory by:
>> Avoiding Disposables!
- Drink & serve Louisville's award-winning tap water instead of bottled water. Fill up your bottle easily at one of our many filling stations around campus!
- Use reusable cloth
towels, wipes, and sponges instead of disposable paper products.
- Go Paperless! Instead of printing, use electronic file-sharing like SharePoint or Blackboard.
- Instructors: Get the mobile app for paperless exams!
- If you must use copy/print, choose double-sided or the blank side of scrap paper!
Eat & drink with reusable mugs, cups, plates, utensils & cloth napkins rather than disposables. If you're headed out, bring your own! At UofL Dining outlets and some area coffee shops & other outlets, you'll earn significant discounts when you use your own reusable mug/bottle for drink purchases!
Instead of to-go or fast-food, dine-in on real plates. ...Or, join the Ville Grill's Zero-Waste Reusable To-Go Club - for just $10, you'll get a reusable container, unlimited washing of the container, and compostable cutlery & napkins.
Use reusable filters instead of disposable ones in your coffeemaker, furnace, etc.
- Use rechargeable batteries rather than single-use, toxic disposables.
- Avoid unnecessary purchases and excess packaging. Buy in bulk.
- Bring reusable shopping bags instead of accepting new paper or plastic bags.
- Save some money and the planet by first seeking used and pre-owned items before shopping for new. UofL departments can freely exchange durable items like furniture and equipment for reuse through UofL Surplus.
- Go further! 42 Ways to Not Make Trash
- Fully utilize UofL’s amazingly easy,Single Stream Recycling system that lets you recycle everything in the same bin: all types of plastic, paper, cardboard, metal, and glass! (more details below)
- Recycle all types of batteries, lighting, chemicals, cell phones, and printer cartridges at UofL.
- Donate clean, unwanted items to the UofL Free Store in the basement of Unitas Hall (enter from Cardinal Blvd near Brook Street). Spring hours: Wednesdays & Thursdays noon-2pm. The UofL Free Store is a space for the on-going free exchange of items like clothing, shoes, electronics, small appliances & furniture, household items, bath/beauty/health supplies, books & media, office/school/art supplies, non-perishable food, and more.
- UofL's surplus property exchange program (1901 S Floyd St.) allows staff and faculty to swap reusable departmental items such as furniture, equipment, electronics, and supplies. Surplus also handles UofL's E-Waste recycling program for any departmental electronic consumer items, including computers & peripherals, monitors, TVs, printers, copiers & more.
- Compost your plant-based food scraps, coffee grounds, and paper towels/napkins/plates/filters on campus in bins at the:
- Garden Commons (4 rolling compost bins next to the greenhouse behind the Cultural Center)
- Horticulture Zone garden behind the Urban Studies Institute at 426 W. Bloom St. (behind Bettie Johnson Hall)
- The Playhouse (Theatre Arts) - backstage
- Cardinal Park (Athletics)
RecycleMania 2016 Results:
RecycleMania 2016 ran February 7th to April 2nd. Final Results here.
RecycleMania 2015 Results:
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was #1 in the state and 15th out of 232 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 63.5% during the 8-week competition from February 1st to March 28th, 2015.
- UofL also landed the top rank in Kentucky for the Gorilla Prize, having recycled at total of 245,859 lbs, or 7.2 lbs/person (Per Capita Classic).
- The Cards also did a whole lot composting, keeping 2.7 lbs/person of food waste out of the landfills (ranking us 2nd in Kentucky behind Berea College).
- All together, this translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 258 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 51 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 22 households).
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was second in the state (behind JCTC) and 116th out of 256 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 29.7% during the 8-week competition from February 2nd to March 29th, 2014.
- UofL recycled at total of 101,332 lbs (taking 1st place in the state for the Gorilla Prize), or 5 lbs/person (Per Capita Classic).
- That translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 142 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 28 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 12 households).
- In Waste Minimization, UofL finished first in the state and 20th out of 168 nationally, with a total waste generation of 14.655 lbs/person.
- In the Grand Champion category, UofL was second in the state (behind JCTC) and 37th out of 274 nationally, with an overall Recycling Rate of 48.87% during the 8-week competition from February 3rd to March 30th, 2013.
- UofL recycled at total of 144,766 lbs (taking 1st place in the state for the Gorilla Prize), or 7.16 lbs/person (Per Capita Classic).
- This total includes 3.49 lbs/person of Paper, 2.15 lbs/person of Cardboard, 1.52 lbs/person of Bottles & Cans, and 2.73 lbs/person of Food Service Organics.
- That translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 335 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as taking 66 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 29 households).
- From February 5th to April 5th, 2012 UofL competed with 605 colleges and universities across the continent and recycled 174,864 pounds of waste, or 7.17 pounds/person.
- That translates to reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by 116 Metric Tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (or the same as keeping 62 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 31 households).
- UofL finished 43rd in the competition for waste minimization, reducing our trash by 21.39 pounds/person.
- We finished 69th in terms of Corrugated Cardboard, recycling 4.81 pounds of cardboard/person; and 109th in Food Service Organics, composting 0.49 pounds of organics/person.
- UofL achieved a weekly recycling rate of 33.51% (98th).
- See UofL's full results for 2012.
- During RecycleMania 2011, UofL recycled 241,782 pounds of waste, or 10.91 pounds/person, with a recycling rate of over 36%...beating the University of Kentucky in 4 out of 7 categories!