A pile of compacted recycled cans

We want to create a place where waste is a thing of the past.


Move towards becoming a zero waste campus. This means achieving a waste diversion rate of 75% by 2017.


In 2014-2015, the campus diversion rate was 61%

How to recycle in residence

The University of Ottawa Residences do not have the same recycling system as the rest of the campus. Click here for a list of what is permitted in the Residence recycling system.

How to recycle on campus

We offer over 20 recycling programs on campus. Find out what we recycle.

Waste programs


Recycling Centres
Over 150 recycling centres are located on campus many of which have composting stations. eWaste is collected for recycling on campus. Leave any eWaste at one of our recycling stations to ensure that it is recycled properly. Batteries can be left at designated recycling centres for collection.

Furniture Reuse Program
The Furniture Reuse Program ensures that thousands of pieces of furniture are diverted from the landfill and offered back to the campus community for free.

Free Store 
The Free Store is a shop of reclaimed items that are offered back to the community for free. Items collected, washed, sorted and put out into the Free Store every week. It is a way of giving old items a new lease on life while avoiding landfills.

Dump and Run 
The Dump and Run is a collection of leftover items from students moving out of residences in order to divert them from landfills.

Waste tips


Everything goes somewhere. We are committed to reducing consumption and preserving resources.

Litterless lunches
Try reusable containers and bottles when packing your lunch.

Reduce, reuse, and then recycle. Reduction and reuse have a much higher environmental benefit.

Muggy Mondays
The volunteers of Muggy Mondays offer free Fair Trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate to those who have a reusable mug.

For more tips or to learn more about what you can do, please visit our sustainable practices page.



  • You'll find a small white battery-recycling bin near the recycling centres or attached to the counter.


  • Your old books can also be recycled. Simply call 562-5800, extension 2222 to have them picked up.
  • Please note we can only do pickups on campus, so if you live off-campus, you'll have to bring your books here.

Textbooks for Change

Textbooks for Change is a social enterprise that collects textbooks and sends them to Africa or uses them to support student clubs. And now, Textbooks for Change is at uOttawa!

You can find donation boxes all over campus, including one at the Free Store. Consider donating you old textbooks and course packs.



  • Cardboard boxes that are folded and left in the hallway will be picked up by the Housekeeping staff regularly.
  • If you need boxes, call 562-5800, extension 2222; the attendant will tell you where to find cardboard recycling containers; you can then help yourself to what you need.


Compostable materials:

  • All food scraps (fruits and vegetables, snack foods, nuts and shells, eggs and egg shells, breads, cereals, pasta and beans, meat and fish – including bones, salad dressing and sauces); All compostable containers (Chartwells); Coffee grounds and tea bags

Non Compostable materials:

  • All non-compostable materials and plastic wrappers of any kind.
Construction and demolition waste

Construction and Demolition Waste (employees only)

If you must dispose of any Construction/Demolition materials including but not limited to wood, scrap metals, cement and dry wall simply call 562-5800, extension 2222; they will send someone to collect it for recycling.

Electronic waste

Electronic Waste:

  • If you must dispose of one or more computers please notify the IT support contact in your department to have the computer(s) picked up for recycling.
  • Smaller electronic waste can be left out at recycling centres all across campus. 
Furniture Reuse program

Furniture (Employees only)

  • If you must dispose of furniture, simply call 562-5800, extension 2222; they will send someone to pick it up for recycling.
  • Learn how to use the Furniture Reuse Program
Mixed papers

Mixed Paper

Recyclable materials:

  • All forms of paper, boxboard (cereal boxes), construction paper, file folders, egg cartons, magazines, disposable paper coffee cups, etc.

Non-recyclable materials:

  • All forms of contaminated papers such as coffee-soaked coffee cups, and liquids of any kind.
Office supplies

Office Supplies and household goods

  • Useful office supplies or household goods can be sent to the uOttawa Free Store located at 647 King Edward ave. There is a donation box on the front porch accessible at all times.
Paper shredding

Shredding (Employees only)

  • If you have confidential documents you would like shredded, call 562-5800, extension 2222 to have a container delivered; this will save you from having to look for or buy boxes. Your documents will be placed in a safe location. If you like, you can witness the shredding of the documents yourself.
Paper towels

Paper Towel

Recyclable materials:
All brown paper towels are recyclable in washrooms equipped with a recycling bin for paper towels.
If you would like to see a bin placed in a washroom near you, call 613.562.5800 extension 3997 to put in your request.

Pen recycling

Pen Recycling

Procurement Services and the Physical Resources Service have teamed up with TerraCycle to create uOttawa’s first pen recycling program. Our goal is to reduce uOttawa’s ecological footprint by diverting our used writing instruments from the waste stream.

Getting your office or residence involved couldn’t be easier.

  1. Find an empty cardboard box (the size of a Xerox box).
  2. Print the included poster, stick them on the box and leave the box in a visible location.
  3. When the box is full, dial ext. 2222 to let Physical Resources Service know that it needs to be picked up.

If you have writing instruments that no longer work, you can collect them in an envelope and send them to Brigitte Morin 141 Louis-Pasteur pvt through INTRA mail.

What products you can recycle

All brands of any type of writing instrument—pens, markers, highlighters, mechanical pencils, pencils, etc.!

Even though we only receive funds for Sharpie, Uni-ball, Paper Mate and Expo branded items, TerraCycle collects and recycles all writing instruments.

For all questions about the pen recycling program email Brigitte Morin, waste diversion coordinator.

Plastic, metal and glass

Plastic, Metal and Glass

Recyclable Materials:

  • Plastic: Plastic bottles, jars, jugs and tubs with lids (ex: yogurt, sour cream, hand cleaner, margarine containers, etc.), #1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7
  • Metal: All metal and aluminum containers (ex: pop cans, tuna cans, aluminum foil, etc.).
  • Glass: Glass containers both clear and coloured.

Non-recyclable Materials:

  • Plastic: Plastic wrappers of all kinds, Saran wrap, wax paper, straws, plastic disposable utensils, coffee cup lids (#6), Styrofoam that has come into contact with food.
  • Metal: Hangers, chip bags and chocolate bar wrappers (materials made out of both plastic and metal are not recyclable)
  • Glass: Broken glass, drinking glasses, as well as ceramic and crystal.

Refrigerators (Employees only)

  • If you must dispose of a refrigerator, simply call 562-5800, extension 2222; they will send someone to pick it up for recycling.
  • Ottawa residents: please visit the city of Ottawa’s website for more information on how to recycle your refrigerators.
Wood pallets

Wood pallets

  • At the University of Ottawa, we recycle all used wood pallets.
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