Recycling Services | University of Portland

Recycling Services


All recyclables must be clean, dry and free from plastic bags! For more information about Portland's recycling guidelines, visit the City of Portland. 

All recyclables must be clean! Please wash them out!

One dirty item -- one with food waste in it -- can contaminate thousands of pounds of collected recyclables. This causes tons of perfectly reusable materials to go to a landfill instead of be recycled.


Image of paper items that can be recycled.

Allowed Paper Items

  • Cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, cardboard egg cartons.
  • Newspapers, magazines, catalogs, phone books, and junk mail.
  • Cartons (milk, juice, soup; empty and dry).
  • Shredded paper must be sealed in a paper bag, do not put in your bin loose.
Image of paper items that cannot be recycled. recycled.

Paper Items NOT Allowed

  • NO coffee cups, take-out food containers, paper plates, pizza boxes.
  • NO frozen or refrigerated food boxes.
  • NO wax-coated cardboard or paper coated with food, wax, foil or plastic.
  • NO paper towels, napkins, facial tissue.


Image of plastic items allowed.

Allowed Plastic Items

  • Plastic bottles and jars (6 ounces or larger).
  • Plastic jugs (milk, juice, etc.).
  • Round plastic food containers (6 ounces or larger) buckets (5 gallons or smaller).
  • Plant pots (4-inch diameter or larger).
Image of plastic items not allowed.

Plastic Items NOT Allowed

  • NO plastic bags or plastic film of any type: pallet wrap, bubble wrap, stretch wrap.
  • NO plastic caps and lids.
  • NO plastic 6 pack can holders (all types, including rigid plastic)
  • NO plastic take-out food containers and disposable plates, cups and cutlery.
  • NO prescription medicine bottles and other plastic containers under 6 oz.
  • NO disposable plastic or latex gloves. 
  • NO bottles that have come in contact with motor oil, pesticides or herbicides, or other hazardous materials.
  • NO hoses, ropes, or cords


Image of glass Items allowed

Allowed Glass Items

  • All glass food and beverage bottles and jars.
  • All colors of glass (it's OK to leave labels on).
Image of glass items not allowed

Glass Items NOT Allowed

  • NO drinking glasses, dishware or drinkware of any kind.
  • NO ceramics or flower vases.
  • NO light bulbs.
  • NO lids or bottle caps.


Image of Metal items allowed.

Allowed Metal Items

  • Aluminum, tin, and steel food cans.
  • Beverage cans.
  • Empty aerosol cans.
  • Empty and dry metal paint cans.
  • Aluminum foil (clean and dry).
  • Scrap metal (smaller than 30 inches and less than 30 pounds).
  • To recycle small metal pieces (under 2 inches), like metal lids, screws and nails, collect inside a soup can, crimp tightly closed, then put into mixed recycling.

Never Recycle 

  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic to-go containers
  • Plastic bottle tops and lids
  • Frozen and refrigerated food boxes
  • Coffee cups
  • Take-out pizza boxes (and other food contaminated boxes) 
  • Styrofoam
  • Batteries

Battery Disposal

DO NOT dispose of batteries in garbage or recycling bins. Please drop your used batteries off at the Physical Plant main office to be sorted and properly disposed of. 


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Sean Smith

Lead, Recycling Services