Residential Experience


Recycling is a fundamental process in the efforts of the University of South Florida to create a sustainable campus environment. Though recycling is just one small facet of the larger scope of environmental responsibility, it is an extremely visible and vital step in achieving this strategic goal.

Housing & Residential Education uses single-stream recycling

Single-stream recycling is a technology that allows you to place all recyclables, such as fiber (newspaper, office paper, cardboard) and non-fiber containers (glass, tin, aluminum, plastic), in a single container for collection, processing, and marketing.

Single-stream recycling reduces sorting effort by residents. In addition, there are reduced collection costs because single-compartment trucks are cheaper to purchase and operate, collection can be automated and collection routes can be serviced more efficiently.

YES - Recycle These Items:

  • Aluminum food and beverage containers (tin foil, soda cans)
  • Books (hard or soft cover)
  • Brochures & pamphlets
  • Cardboard (collapse all boxes)
  • Cereal boxes/Paperboard
  • Copies/Printer paper (and all other office paper without wax liners)
  • Envelopes (windows okay)
  • File folders (metal clasps or plastic tabs are okay)
  • Glass food and beverage containers (brown, clear, or green)
  • Iron cans
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines/Catalogs
  • Mail/Junk mail
  • Metal fasteners (paperclip, staples, clamps)
  • Plastic containers with numbers 1 through 7 (narrow-neck, screw top, without caps, natural color or pigmented/tinted)
  • Telephone books
  • Wire or plastic spirals

NO - Trash These Items:

  • Candy wrappers
  • Carbon paper
  • Carpet or cloth
  • Ceramics/Porcelain
  • Coat hangers
  • Glass of any kind that is not a bottle or jar
  • Food soiled cardboard (like pizza boxes)
  • Food or any organic waste
  • Household items (toasters, pots, etc.)
  • Light bulbs
  • Liquids
  • Microwave trays
  • Mirrors
  • Plastic bags and Saran Wrap
  • Plastics (unnumbered)
  • Plates or dishes
  • Styrofoam
  • Used paper cups and paper plates
  • Used paper towels
  • Used tissues
  • Waxed cardboard (milk/juice cartons)
  • Waxed paper
  • Wet or soiled paper
  • Window glass

Tips: Recycling in the Residence Halls

  • Make sure to rinse out all food containers and plastic bottles
  • Shred items of a personal or confidential nature
  • Collapse all cardboard and paperboard boxes
  • Remove and dispose of all lids from jugs, bottles, and jars
  • Do not contaminate recycle bins with food debris
  • Discuss with your roommates and suitemates the best location for placing a recycle bin or bag
  • Discuss whose responsibility it is to carry the recycle bag/bin to the large recycling containers located at 8 locations within the residential community

Summary of Sustainability Initiatives

  • Single-stream recycling
  • Energy-efficient lighting
  • Retrofitting low flow shower heads in restrooms
  • HVAC occupancy controls in Juniper-Poplar
  • Lighting photosensor controls in Cypress Hall