Waste and Recycling

Sorting Waste at UMB

At UMB, we employ a dual-stream recycling program in non-lab areas*, collecting cardboard and paper separate from mixed recycling (metals, plastics, glass). Our waste container infrastructure and signage is currently being upgraded through the self-service waste program rollout, so we thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to standardize bins and signage.

In the Paper/Cardboard Bins

  • Office paper
  • Computer printouts
  • Books (including paperbacks, textbooks, and hardbacks)
    • Large quantities should be collected through a Bulk Disposal work request
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines and catalogs
  • Envelopes
  • Hot beverage sleeves
  • Brown paper bags
  • Flattened cardboard and paperboard boxes
    • Please put these items BESIDE/BEHIND the bins due to their large size
    • If you need a box cutter to break down your boxes more easily, please contact sustainability@umaryland.edu.

Please note: Shredded paper should be bagged and placed to the side of paper/cardboard bins for collection by EVS custodial technicians.

In the Mixed Plastics, Metal, and Glass Bins

  • Rigid plastics (including jugs, bottles, and tubs)
  • Aluminum cans
  • Clean aluminum foil
  • Tin cans
  • Steel containers
  • Glass bottles (unbroken)
  • Milk and juice cartons

Commonly Confused Items That Belong in the Trash

  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic wrap, plastic grocery bags**, and Ziploc bags
  • Chip bags and candy wrappers
  • Condiment packs
  • Pizza boxes with grease-soaked cardboard
  • Anything with food or beverage in it — these items must be emptied and cleaned
  • Plastic straws and utensils
  • Disposable hot coffee cups
  • Tissues, paper towels, and napkins
  • Aerosol cans
  • Packing peanuts and bubble wrap
  • Gloves (nitrile, latex, etc.)
  • Batteries — these can be recycled through specialty recycling/chemical waste pickup
  • Receipts

When in doubt ... throw it out!

Questions about an item not listed above? Email sustainability@umaryland.edu.

*For information on waste management in lab areas, please visit the Green Labs webpage.

**Please do not place plastic bags in recycling bins, as these can tangle up sorting equipment at the recycling facilities. Baltimore County has a great short video on these so-called tanglers called Tangled Up! Watch it on YouTube.

Waste and Recycling in Baltimore City

The city of Baltimore is conducting a master planning effort to identify options for improving solid waste diversion, recycling, and disposal in the city. The city is committed to developing a master plan (the Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan) that outlines a clear and realistic vision for improving the city’s solid waste recycling program and operations, over both the near term and long term, with the goal of maximizing waste reduction, reuse/repair, recycling, and sustainable management of materials. 

Read the Less Waste, Better Baltimore Plan and learn more about waste and recycling in the city by visiting the Baltimore City Department of Public Works website.