Recycling and Refuse


For more information, click on Recycling & Surplus Information

The Recycling Program
The UCSC Recycling Program has been collecting recyclable materials from across campus since 1989. The goal of the Recycling Program is to divert materials from the waste stream. Instead of going to the landfill, these materials are reused by industry and turned into new products. UC System goals for diversion are 75% by 2012 and 100% by 2020. See: UCOP Sustainable Practices & Polices Also see current progress report: UCSC Current Progress

The Recycling Team collects materials from recycling bins all over campus. The Recycling Program currently collects two streams of materials in public areas: Mixed Containers, including plastics, aluminum, and glass in one bin and Mixed Paper in another bin. In office spaces, white office paper is also collected separately. Members of the UCSC community can easily recycle their materials in the recycling bins that are located at all residential colleges, classroom buildings, offices, cafes, and most other parts of campus.

Cardboard is recycled in big green dumpsters that are located at the loading docks of most buildings. The cardboard is then collected using front loader trucks and it is recycled.

The recycling and refuse programs also collect compostable materials from the campus Dining Halls and Cafes. This material is trucked to an off campus facility for composting and use in agriculture.

Why Recycle?
Recycling has many environmental and economic benefits, including:

  • Reduces the amount of land that is converted to landfills.
  • Transforming recyclable material into a new product requires less energy than making the same product out of raw material.
  • Manufacturing with recycled materials instead of raw materials significantly reduces the amount of energy, water, and pollution needed to excavate, mine, or harvest the raw materials.
  • Natural resources such as forests, mountains, and bodies of water are impacted less when we use recyclable materials.
  • Recycling is an important part of waste reduction. To learn more about how you can decrease the amount of waste you create, click here.

    There are many exciting ways to get involved with recycling and waste reduction at UCSC. Students are always needed to be on the Recycling Work Crew. Check out the posts at UCSC Career Center. A student can earn academic credit as an intern with the Recycling Program, working on such projects as outreach, grant writing, and event organizing. Check with your department or the Environmental Studies Internship Coordinator for more information.

    Refuse and Cardboard Recycling
    Campus wide refuse and cardboard services are performed six days a week by the Grounds Equipment Shop. A team of five equipment operators share in the responsibilities of maintaining service to campus. Refuse and cardboard dumpsters are located throughout campus to service all university facilities.


  • Recycling Shop: (831) 459-3671 or call the Physical Plant Work Order Desk at (831) 459-4444