Frequently asked questions

Do we recycle all plastics?

Yes. We recycle ALL plastics with a recycling symbol, etc. PLEASE rinse out the food first! Bottle caps are okay!
Plastic bags and wrap can now be recycled if they are clean and dry. We’ll take them to HEB for you.

So we recycle plastics numbered 1 through 7?

Yes. We recycle all plastics #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7. We collect Styrofoam at one locations on campus: Toxin Research Labs in Kleberg Hall. Even if it has a recycling symbol on it we only collect Styrofoam that is used as a packing material; we do not recycle Styrofoam that has food residue!

Should I empty out my bottles and cans?

Yes. Pour out leftover liquid from your bottles and cans and rinse/wash out food from food containers (especially peanut butter and mayonnaise).

Should I remove the lid from my plastic bottle?

No. We can recycle that plastic, too!

Do I need to flatten cardboard boxes?

Yes. Flatten cardboard boxes and empty all packing materials such as Styrofoam, plastic bags and foam beads. Flattened cardboard boxes should be placed in the outdoor blue roll-out bin.
If you need help with a large quantity of boxes send an email to for a special pick up.

Is shredded paper recyclable?

Yes. Just bag it in a clear plastic bag and put it in an outside blue roll-out bin.

Are paper towels, tissues, and napkins recyclable?

No. They are considered contaminated.

Are books recyclable?

Yes. We recycle all paperback and hardback books; just put them in the recycling bins for "PAPER". If you have more than a few hardback books, email to arrange for a special pick-up for large quantities.

Is aluminum foil recyclable?

Yes. Clean sheets of aluminum foil can be balled up and put in recycling bins with metal/plastic. Other aluminum containers such as pie pans and lids from some carry-out restaurants are recyclable as long as everything is rinsed off.
Greasy and/or food-laden aluminum trays from grills or other cooking are NOT acceptable. PLEASE put aluminum which is contaminated with grease and/or food in the trash.

Can I recycle batteries?

Batteries of all types can now be recycled on campus. Put them with the collection boxes for ink cartridges.

Can I recycle ink and toner cartridges?

Yes. There is a collection box at Jernigan Library,

For answers to your questions, suggestions and special pick-ups

call Laura Prange, Director of Sustainability and Coordinator of Recycling at (361) 593-4220 or e-mail at

This page was last updated on: October 8, 2015