Waste Minimization

When people think of sustainability, recycling is often what first comes to mind. However, of the 3 Rs (reduction, reuse, and recycling), recycling should be a last resort, with reduction and reuse prioritized where possible. See the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Waste Management Hierarchy below to learn more about materials management. 
EPA Waste Hierarchy

Waste Management Hierarchy | Source Reduction & Reuse | Recycling/Composting | Energy Recovery | Treatment & Disposal

Frequently Asked Questions

What does UMB recycle in its dual-stream recycling bins?

Paper/Cardboard Bins

  • Office Paper
  • Computer Printouts
  • Books (including paperbacks, textbooks, and hardbacks)
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines and Catalogs
  • Envelopes
  • Brown Paper Bags
  • Flattened Cardboard and Paperboard Boxes

Nonpaper Bins

  • Rigid Plastics (including jugs, bottles, containers)
  • Aluminum
  • Steel Containers

Where can I get a recycling bin?

Put in a work order through the UMB Facilities Work Request Portal to get a recycling bin for your space. 

I live off-campus. How do I recycle?

Check out the website for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works to learn about what is accepted in the city’s curbside recycling program.

Why can't I recycle glass on campus, but can at home?

Recycling is market-driven. It is dependent on each locality and materials recovery facility (MRF). UMB's recycling is hauled to off-site facilities that do not currently accept glass. While glass can be recycled, the shipment of glass can be costly and MRFs may not be able to find a local buyer. The closest glass recycling facility is currently 4-hours away in Pennsylvania.

Where can I compost food waste at UMB?

Stay tuned for information on where you can drop off your food scraps to be composted at UMB!

I work in a lab at UMB and have biological, chemical, and/or radioactive waste to dispose of. How do I properly dispose of this hazardous waste?

To comply with applicable federal and state regulations, every hazardous waste container must be tagged or labeled properly using the Hazardous Waste Labels furnished by Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) the instant that the material inside the container is determined to be a waste. For more information, please visit the EHS website

What about all of my other miscellaneous items that I don’t want to throw away?


  • For non-alkaline batteries, including lead acid, nickel cadmium, mercuric oxide, silver oxide, and lithium, contact EHS.


Electronics (UMB-Issued)

Ink Cartridges/Toner

  • For toner and ink cartridges, check with the manufacturer to see if they will accept them back. For any non-returnable toner cartridges, contact EHS.

Surplus Property/Other