Waste Minimization

Over the past decade, TU has recycled over 21 million pounds of waste—the equivalent of taking 5,000 cars off the road.

TigersCare Disposal Protocols

Take care of our community and our environment. Properly dispose of single-use wipes and masks in landfill containers across campus. Or better yet, create your own reusable mask following the CDC's Cloth Face Covering templates.


Landfill waste will exist on our planet for hundreds of years, and burning trash contributes to local air pollution. There's a better option. You can lessen your impact and divert waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling on TU's campus. Be on the lookout for composting and single-stream recycling bins, in addition to specialty recycling for electronics, batteries, light bulbs and printer cartridges.   

Stop & Sort with Doc

Learn how to stop and sort with Doc after you’ve finished eating!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

recycling

What is single stream recycling?

Single stream recycling allows you to place all general recycling into one container. At TU, paper, plastic, glass and metal can be placed in one bin.  All items must be clean and liquid-free. If you live off-campus, check with your local municipality for the recyclables collected in your area. You can recycle:

  • bottles, cans, jars, jugs
  • wide-mouth plastic containers
  • clean paper, junk mail, cardboard
What doesn't belong in single stream recycling?

Placing these items in your recycling bin can contaminate single stream recycling:

  • plastic bags, utensils, plates, snack wrappers
  • food, liquids, soiled pizza boxes
  • plastic "clam shell" style containers
  • electronics, printer cartridges, CFLs, rechargeable batteries
  • construction debris
Why can't I recycle plastic bags?

You can chose to take your plastic bags to certain grocery stores to recycle.  Unfortunately, plastic bags in a single stream system pose a problem at recycling facilities. They’re known as “tanglers” and get stuck in machinery, halting the recycling line. Baltimore County created a short video called “Tangled Up” (YouTube) to explain. 

 

compost

What can I compost?

If it grows it goes! Anything that's all-natural can be composted. Look for compost bins located throughout campus. You can compost:

  • food scraps, including meat and dairy
  • napkins, uncoated paper plates, waxed paper
  • pizza boxes, paper boats
  • PLA 7 cups and utensils
Where can I compost?

Compost bins can be found at all dining locations throughout campus and in select buildings. A communal bin is located in each residence hall. To start a compost collection in your building, contact the 

Are plastic utensils compostable?

That depends. Dining Services and Black & Gold Catering offer reusable and compostable utensils. Approved compostable utensils say either "compostable" or "PLA 7" on them. Chances are if it's from somewhere else, it needs to be landfilled.

What do I do if I can't find a compost bin?

If there isn't a compost bin available, you have to landfill your waste. If you'd like to start a compost collection in your building, contact the 

specialty recycling

How do I recycle electronics?

Small electronics, including cables, can be placed in green collection bins located near the information desks in the University Union and West Village Commons. Contact Material Management to dispose of university equipment. Additional containers for specific items like printer cartridges, batteries, and compact fluorescent lightbulbs are placed throughout campus as well.

Where can I recycle printer cartridges?

You can find tall, green printer cartridge bins in the following locations:

  • Admin Building, 109
  • Center for Fine Arts, 3002
  • Enrollment Services, 238
  • Enrollment Services, 312
  • General Services, across from 152
  • Linthicum, 113
  • Smith Hall, outside of 300
  • Smith Hall, 2nd floor lobby near newspaper stand
  • University Union Information Desk
  • Van Bokkelen, across from 211
  • West Village Commons Information Desk 
 Where can I recycle batteries?

You can recycle Lithium-ion and Nickel-metal Hydride batteries. Standard alkaline batteries should be discarded in the landfill bins. You can find yellow battery bins in the following locations:

  • Admin Building, 312

  • Admin Building, 440

  • Admin Building, Procurement Office

  • Center for Fine Arts, 307

  • Center for Fine Arts, 2028

  • Cook Library Information Desk

  • Enrollment Services, 238

  • General Services, across from 152

  • Hawkins Hall, 210

  • Liberal Arts Building, 3210

  • Smith Hall, 352

  • Smith Hall, 583A

  • Stephens Hall, outside of 112

  • University Union Information Desk

  • Van Bokkelen, 105

Where can I recycle compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs)?

You can find green CFL bins in the following locations:

  • Admin Building, 440
  • General Services, across from 152
  • Liberal Arts, 3210
  • Stephens Hall, near 112
  • University Union Information Desk

Recycling and Composting at Events

What's a Zero-Waste Event?

A Zero-Waste event is any event that diverts at least 90% of the waste into the recycling and composting streams.

How can I host a Zero-Waste Event?

Lucky for you, we’ve made a handy Zero-Waste Events Checklist (pdf) to help you get started!

Can I compost food at my event, even if it's not Zero-Waste?

Of course! Get in touch with your ECS Event Manager and ask them to provide bins and green compostable bags. Be sure to let guests know what is compostable, recyclable, or landfill at the start of your event.

 

 

A Rich History of Sustainability 

Towson University began its recycling program more than three decades ago. We currently boast a recycling rate of more than 40 percent--surpassing the goal suggested for institutions of our size. We're not stopping here: our goal is to reach a rate of 50% by 2025. 

Recent Achievements

2020

  • TU recognized by EPA for Food Waste Reduction efforts.

2019

  • TU wins national RecycleMania Education and Awareness Award through it's inaugural Fix-It Fair event.

  • TU ranks 9th in RecycleMania Electronics Recycling Competition. 

  • Tiger Pride Day becomes first Zero-Waste Event to be held in State Capital. 

  • All campus residence hall rooms receive new blue bins.

2018

  • TU achieves 43% recycling rate.

  • TU Dining begins strawless in efforts to prevent single use plastic waste.

  • TU Residential Composting Pilot begins.

  • All Dining Halls go trayless.

  • TU hosts its first Family Weekend Zero-Waste Crab Feast.

2017

  • TU wins national RecycleMania Education and Awareness Award through its social media outreach campaign.

  • Newell Dining Hall goes trayless.

  • Starbucks converts to 100% compostable cups.

  • TU introduces Zero-Waste Events on campus.