Recycling at University of Delaware


Let's Talk Trash.

The University of Delaware participates in the Delaware Solid Waste Authority's single stream recycling program. Follow the guidelines below to avoid contaminating the University's recycling stream:

  • Although there is no need to place recyclables into bags prior to putting them in bins, translucent and untied plastic bags must be used.
  • Black plastic bags cannot be used to dispose of recyclables.
  • Do not place non-recyclable items, trash, food scraps or other banned items in the recycling containers. This causes the disposal of other recyclable items.
  • Boxes that are not "broken down" or flattened take up space and increase the cost of recycling as more trips are needed to remove recyclables. Do your part and BREAK DOWN cardboard boxes!

Single Stream Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

What is single-stream recycling?

Single-Stream recycling is a recycling process in which materials are collected co-mingled. This eliminates the need to sort recyclables or provide multiple recycling bins.

What exactly can I put into a single stream bin?

The University participates in the Delaware Solid Waste Authority's Single Stream Recycling Program.

The items below can be placed into a single stream bin:

What do I do with other items, such as light bulbs, batteries, electronics, etc.?

All recyclable materials can be placed into all single stream bins throughout campus. However, the University of Delaware's environmental health and safety unit provides recycling services for some electronic equipment. The Delaware Solid Waste Authority also provides recycling options for those items not compatible with the Single Stream Process. Find out more at and

What happens to the single-stream recycling when it reaches DSWA?

Once the single-stream materials are collected by DSWA, they are taken to the Delaware Recycling Center (DRC), where they are separated and distributed to various markets for sale.

Can I put recyclables into bags then into my single-stream bin?

No, the University strongly encourages individuals not to use bags. Items can only be bagged in cases where the bag is clear or translucent, and if the bag is untied.

What do I have to do in order to prepare recyclable items?

It is desirable to prepare items correctly before placing them in recycling bins. This means:

What types of paper can I recycle? Can I recycle envelopes with the plastic windows? What about staples, spiral notebooks, glossy advertisements, and post-its?

All paper items can be tossed into the recycling bin. In the recycling process, all paper, even the glossy, is converted to pulp, and all non-natural fibers such as metal will be strained out. So don't waste your time removing staples, spiral bindings, or plastic windows.

Do I have to worry about labels?

No. Labels are acceptable on bottles and cans.

How do I order a recycling bin?

All lost, damaged, or stolen recycling bins are the responsibility of individual departments. Recycling bins are available through Blue Hen Market select W.B. Mason.

Where can I get more information about recycling?

I'm packing to move to/from campus. Any Tips?

Pack Smart With Our Handy Guide

Where can I get more information about move-in day recycling?

Move-in Day Recycling Pamphlet

If you have any other questions regarding recycling, feel free to email

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