OSU Waste Management

Waste Collection

  • Collection of waste and recyclable materials, pallets and oversized bulk items from university buildings. Provides large, open-top toters and recycling containers.

Large items | All hard trash items must be placed at the dock for removal. Hard trash is usually collected within 2-3 business days.

Room clean-outs, Construction projects, Special projects |   Order a 20-yd open top dumpster, billable, at least 24 hours in advance. Dumpster remains on-site for duration of project. Also, 24-hour advance notice is required for removal.

Long-term hard trash disposal | Order a 20-yd open top dumpster, billable, at least 24 hours in advance. Dumpster remains on-site for indefinite period of time. Also, 24-hour advance notice is required for removal.

Short-term hard trash disposal | If no dumpster is required, call Solid Waste (292-0892) to collect. At least 48 hours advance notice is requested.

Large amount of metal items | You may need a 20-yard open top box, no charge. Metal items only can be placed inside. All metal items are recyclable.


Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design

The university is committed to constructing and renovating buildings that use resources efficiently and create healthy environments for students, facutly and staff.  Each new building or renovation project with a budget of $4 million or more will strive for U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-level certification or higher. Facilities Operations and Development has many LEED-certified professionals on staff to ensure compliance with Ohio State University’s Green Building Standards, and continue to incorporate sustainability goals into campus planning.

View Our Plan

The University’s buildings are where we live, work, learn and conduct groundbreaking research.  They are also where we consume an enormous amount of energy, with most of the university’s emissions being associated with heating and cooling hundreds of buildings across campus.

The Ohio State University currently has 18 LEED-Certified buildings, here is the breakdown:


Ohio State University LEED-Certified Buildings

Gold-level Certification

Silver-level Certification





RecyleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction and recycling on their campuses. Each year, institutions from across the United States and Canada report their waste and recycling performance over an eight week period starting February 1st.  RecycleMania seeks to motivate students and staff to reduce waste generation, support recycling programs, encourage benchmarking, and have a fair and friendly competition.


How Do I Recycle On Campus?

Recycling at Ohio State is single stream (also referred to as co-mingled), meaning all recyclables are placed in the same bin instead of being separated.  However, trash still needs to be placed in a different container.  Many Side-By-Side trash and recycling containers have been placed around campus in common areas and classrooms.  Notice that the lid on the recycling side is differentiated to reflect the shape of common recyclables such as paper and plastic bottles making it easier for you to recycle in the correct bin.  In some areas, older containers are still used, regardless of the signage these recycling bins should also be used for comingled recycling.

Move In

Contact Service2Facilities (292-HELP) if you need any additional recycling containers.

Cardboard Box Recycling | Student move in can generate over 25 tons of cardboard! Empty boxes of packing materials and contents, throw away plastic and foam packing, flatten boxes, and take them to the loading dock or to the scarlet recycling dumpster for collection.

Move Out

Contact Service2Facilities (292-HELP) for additional trash dumpsters for temporary use or bulk waste collection (scrap wood, metal, and waste materials too large for the dumpster can be left at the loading dock).

Call several days in advance to schedule collection services and ensure that materials are picked up promptly from the loading dock.

Dump & Run

The Students for Recycling Dump & Run program saved thousands of items of usable clothing, food, school supplies, furniture, and books from the landfill. Students for Recycling collect and sort those unwanted items and conduct a giant rummage sale for students during Welcome Week.  Residents may dispose of unwanted items in the Dump and Run toters found in the residence hall lobbies the last two weeks of the Spring Quarter.  Look for the Dump & Run sale the following Fall Quarter.

Hard to Recycle Items

Ink Cartridges

Students can recycle both ink jet and toner cartridges at locations found at earth.911.com

Cell phones

Ohio State has held several E-waste drives in collaboration with Recycle Force Columbus, watch for the next drive during each semester.


Students can recycle batteries at a BatteriesPlus Center in Columbus or check the Recycling Guide atearth.911.com


The City of Columbus offers curbside recycling for the University District!

Those who are eligible for recycling collection service will meet the specifications below:

  •  City of Columbus resident.
  •  Lives in a single family home or building of four attached units or less that is not part of a complex.

City representatives are available to help determine eligibility.  Call 614-645-3111.

Not eligible for service? No problem!  There are many ways to recycle in Columbus.  Find out more here.





Zero Waste Event Service

What is the Zero Waste Event Service

Anyone on campus can now hold their own Zero Waste Event! Fill out the Zero Waste Event application if you’re interested or check out the Zero Waste Event Presentation under the Presentations link for more information. You can also contact Service2Facilities to request service (614-292-HELP).

Zero Waste Equipped Facilities

These facilities can host zero waste events at little to no additional costs to the planner.

  • Blackwell Inn and Conference Center
  • Faculty Club
  • Kennedy Commons
  • Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4H Center
  • Ohio Union
  • Pizzuti House
  • Wexner Center for the Arts

Pricing Options

Events not held at one of the above facilities may have to pay for the Zero Waste Event Service.

Suggested number of containers

We encourage you to think about the space the event will be held in. Visualize the space and determine traffic patterns. Use this information to come up with centralized locations for the zero waste units. Remember, the more centralized your collection is the fewer volunteers you will need to have a successful event!

Recycling at Ohio State is single-stream (also referred to as co-mingled), which means that all recyclables are placed in the same bin instead of being separated by material type.  However, trash still needs to be placed in a different container.  Many Side-By-Side trash and recycling containers have been placed around campus in common areas and classrooms.  Notice that the lid on the recycling side is differentiated to reflect the shape of common recyclables, such as paper and plastic bottles, making it easier for you to recycle in the correct bin.  In some areas, older containers are still used; regardless of the signage these recycling bins should also be used for your co-mmingled recycling. A great way to motivate your office or work area to recycle is to have an office clean out.

Document Destruction

Because of shredding security standards and requirements for certification, Facilities Operations and Development does not offer shredding services for secure, confidential materials.

For a list of all certified shredding providers that meet the university’s PCI requirements, please contact the Office of Financial Services at 292-7792.

Hardcover Books

Please donate recent books to local retailers. Book deposits for donation are spread across campus.  Large quantities of books can be arranged for recycling through the Solid Waste Shop or contact Jeff Ruff (614-292-3974).

Ink Cartridges

Contact OSU STORES (614-292-2694) to arrange recycling. Or fill out the online form with the return type “toner” at the following link:



For electronics such as computer parts contact OSU SURPLUS or 614-688-3545.


Recycle batteries using Environmental Health and Safety. Call for information concerning collection of these items. Start a program in your office by placing a cardboard box in a common area with a sign for batteries. When the box is full, contact EHS to schedule a collection.


Many materials that laboratories submit as chemical waste are actually surplus chemicals which may be reused. To assist in waste reduction, the Environmental Health and Safety Chemical Management Program accepts both opened and unopened containers of unwanted, usable chemicals from laboratory and service areas throughout campus. The Chemical Management Program takes the unwanted chemicals and redistributes them, free of charge, to other Ohio State operations. Chemicals can be requested by registering at the EHS website. Contact EHS at 614-292-1284 for additional information.


– Beverage Bottles: dispose in standard co-mingled recycling bins

– Lab glass: follow the procedures below:

– Chemically contaminated glass: All chemically contaminated glass must be placed into the blue sealable chemical barrels.  These materials are managed by Environmental Health and Safety.

–  Infectious or Bio Contaminated glass: All infectious or bio contaminated glass must be placed into an infectious waste box or sharps box.  These materials are managed by Environmental Health and Safety.

–  Broken glass: Broken glass is to be placed into a bagged cardboard box – once filled – disposed of into the regular recycling container or if  the glass is contaminated please dispose of it in a trash container.

–  Clean/Intact glass: Any other glass must be triple rinsed, the label must be crossed off, and the lid removed and placed into any container labeled for recycling.

–  Non-Recyclable/Heat Resistant: The glassware that is intact is discarded into the regular trash stream – broken heat resistant glass should follow the broken glass procedure.

– Heat resistant Glass: Heat resistant glass is not recyclable at this time. Please dispose of these materials in the trash. Broken heat resistant glass should be bagged, placed in a cardboard box and disposed of in a trash dumpster.


Regular aluminum and tin cans and other small products can be placed in any co-mingled recycling bin.  Metals of value or of university property must be disposed of through appropriate Ohio State policies and procedures.  Contact Recycling and Refuse Services or Jeff Ruff (614-292-3974) for arrangements.


If you have university assets that need disposal please work with your asset manager to release the items toSurplus.


Containers and Liners

The Ohio State University has standard recycling containers and liners for purchase in Stores. Although many units have been distributed, academic and administrative departments are encouraged to purchase additional desk side and meeting room recycling containers through university Stores (614-292-2694).  For a limited time FREE desk side recycling bins are available using SIU #S51040.

Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium


Zero Waste at Ohio Stadium

Game Date Stadium Attendance
Trash Recycle Compost Diversion
Virginia Tech 9/6/2014  0.23  2.55  2.51  95.68%  107,517
Kent State 9/13/2014  0.47  3.09  4.55  94.17%  104,404
Cincinnati 9/27/2014  0.36  3.63  1.93  93.88%  108,362
Rutgers 10/18/2014  0.34  3.12  2.07  93.82%  106,795
Illinois 11/1/2014  0.16  3.31  2.65  97.34%  106,961
Indiana 11/22/2014  0.07  2.04  3.33  98.68%  101,426
Michigan 11/29/2014  0.31  2.06  2.06  93.10%  108,610
Season Total 1.95 19.79 19.12   744,075
Season Average 0.28 2.83 2.73 95.24% 106,296

In 2014, Ohio State:

1.95 tons
(compared to 5.8 tons in 2013)

(versus Indiana)

(compared to 90.5% in 2013)