Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 80: Services

Recycling and Waste Minimization

BPPM 80.80

1.0  Overview

Washington State University encourages waste minimization, reuse, and the recycling of waste materials at all campuses in order to conserve energy, recover resources, protect the environment, and reduce disposal costs.

  • WSU seeks to provide an exemplary teaching, research, and outreach environment that fosters the conservation of natural resources, supports and enhances social responsibility, addresses community and economic development, and follows environmental, social, and economic practices. (EP24)
  • State law requires state agencies to set an example by implementing aggressive waste reduction and recycling programs at agency workplaces and by purchasing products that are made from recycled materials and are recyclable. (RCW 70A.205.005 )
  • State law requires state agencies to implement recycling programs at official gatherings and sporting events. (RCW 70A.200.100 )

1.1   Waste Minimization

Waste minimization is the most beneficial waste management practice in terms of energy conservation, environmental benefits, and cost effectiveness. Examples of suggested waste minimization practices are:

  • Avoiding single use containers. Using refillable bottles or mugs.
  • Buying in bulk and avoiding purchasing individually packaged items.
  • Replacing paper documents with online alternatives wherever possible.
  • Reusing and/or redistributing packing materials.
  • Reducing unwanted bulk mail from off-campus sources.
  • Printing multi-sided whenever possible.

1.2   Reuse

University-owned property that is no longer needed may still have value to the University. The University’s redistribution and disposal department, Surplus Stores, is responsible for redistributing, reselling, or recycling such items (BPPM 20.76). One WSU department may transfer and/or sell equipment to another (BPPM 20.80).

Items that still have useful life are available to University departments, state agencies, nonprofit agencies, and the public at Surplus Stores. For more information, see BPPM 20.76 and the Surplus Stores website.

1.3   WSU Pullman Campus

1.3.a    Recycling

At the WSU Pullman campus, Facilities Services, Waste Management provides recycling services in addition to other waste management services.

All buildings at the WSU Pullman campus are equipped with centralized recycling locations. Facilities Services Waste Management Services provides the recycling containers. Departments may submit routine service requests for recycling containers and waste dumpsters by:

Waste Management offers special event recycling and waste management. The department or organization that sponsors the event is responsible for the cost of managing the waste generated by the event. The fee charged covers the cost of the services provided by Waste Management. For more information, contact Waste Management; telephone 509-335-3288; e-mail

1.4   Locations/Campuses Other Than Pullman

WSU locations or campuses other than Pullman rely on municipal or commercial centers for recycling services.

1.4.a    WSU Spokane

For information regarding recycling at the WSU Spokane campus, see the Environmental Health and Safety Recycling website.

1.4.b    WSU Tri-Cities

For information concerning recycling at the WSU Tri-Cities campus, contact WSUTC Facilities.

1.4.c    WSU Vancouver

For information regarding recycling at the WSU Vancouver (WSUV) campus, see the WSUV Campus Sustainability website.

To initiate a service request for waste/recycle or shred please submit a service request at Facilities Requests WSU Vancouver.

If additional assistance is needed, contact WSUV Facilities Services; telephone 360-546-9706; e-mail

1.4.d    Locations/Campuses Other Than Pullman

For information regarding recycling at locations or campuses other than Pullman, contact the department’s building manager.

2.0  Procedures (WSU Pullman)

2.1   Nonresidential Building Recycling

In each nonresidential building and at outdoor locations at WSU Pullman, Waste Management collects recyclable materials.

Recycling containers are placed at centralized locations. Individuals or departments are responsible for emptying desk, office, or work area recycling and waste containers into the proper building containers.

Recycling in academic and administrative buildings consists of  designated metal cans and plastic bottles, office paper, and cardboard. Cardboard boxes should be taken to the building cardboard dumpster or cart which is normally adjacent to the waste dumpsters. For lists of accepted recyclable and unaccepted nonrecyclable materials, see Section 3.0.

Note: Do not place nonrecyclable materials in recycling containers. Contaminated containers or food-coated containers may be discarded as waste.

2.1.a    Confidential Material

Any material containing confidential information must be shredded. See BPPM 90.01, 90.05, 90.06, and 90.07 regarding identification and disposition of confidential materials.

Waste Management provides locked bins or special pick-ups of large volumes, upon request, to gather confidential materials for pickup and shredding. For service, contact Waste Management; e-mail

2.1.b    Construction Waste

Waste Management manages the removal of recyclable and nonrecyclable materials from University construction projects. This service is available to departments and private contractors working on University projects at the WSU Pullman campus.

Waste Management provides dumpsters and roll-off containers to gather construction materials for pickup and recycling. For more information, including service costs and service requests:

2.1.c    Used Printer Toner Cartridges

WSU buildings have separate containers for used printer toner cartridges located at centralized recycle stations. Departments may request the pickup of toner cartridges by:

2.2   University Residence Hall and Apartment Building

At each University residence hall and University apartment building at WSU Pullman, Waste Management collects recyclable materials. Residents are responsible for placing recyclable materials in the appropriate containers located outdoors adjacent to the building waste receptacles. See below for a list of accepted and unaccepted materials.

3.0  Accepted and Unaccepted Materials (WSU Pullman Only)

The following lists apply to recycling at WSU Pullman only. (For information regarding accepted and unaccepted recycling materials at locations or campuses other than Pullman, see Section 1.4.

3.1   Accepted Materials (Recyclable)

Table 1: Accepted Recyclable Items


Corrugated cardboard and paperboard. Flatten boxes and remove packing materials.

Separated Recycling

  • #1 and #2 plastics
  • Aluminum cans and foil
  • Tin, steel, and metal cans

Office Paper

White and color (e.g., pastels) paper and envelopes

3.2   Nonrecylable Materials

Place nonrecyclable items in trash containers. Nonrecyclable materials are a contaminant in recycling containers. Contaminated materials may provide a health risk to employees handling the materials and attract vermin and disease vectors. Excessive contamination may cause recyclable materials to be discarded as waste.

Table 2: Nonrecyclable Items
Garbage Syringes
Plastic bags Hazardous waste containers
Glass Biodegradable plastics
Styrofoam Tissues and hand towels
Unnumbered plastic paper clips
#3 through #7 plastic Electronics (Recycled through Surplus Stores, see BPPM 20.76.)
Items contaminated with food or other substances Overhead transparency materials
Plastic, foil coated, or laminated paper Carbon paper
Photographs X-rays
Ceramics and dishes Rubber bands
Light bulbs Microfiche
Containers of food or liquids Mixed paper

For more specific information or questions contact Waste Management Recycling; telephone 509-335-3288; e-mail

3.2.a    Batteries

Batteries must be disposed of accordance to the procedures in SPPM 5.66. For questions, contact Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S); telephone 509-335-3041.

Revisions:  Oct. 2023 (Rev. 618); Jan. 2017 (Rev. 484); Oct. 2009 (Rev. 348); Dec. 2007 (Rev. 311); July 1996 (Rev. 100); Mar. 1989 – new policy (Rev. 75).