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Frequently Asked Questions

After the recycling is collected on campus, where does it go?

All of WVU’s recycling is taken to the Republic Services Transfer Station in the Morgantown Industrial Park. Republic transports the material to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) owned by Waste Management outside of Pittsburgh, PA. This facility sorts and bales the materials to sell them to wholesalers that eventually turn the commodities into other materials and products.

What is the difference between recycling on campus and off campus?

There are a few different organizations that coordinate recycling in the Morgantown/Monongalia County area. WVU recycling coordinates efforts on WVU’s campuses and in owned and leased spaces off campus. The City of Morgantown has partnered with Republic Services to offer curbside single stream recycling inside city limits. The Monongalia County Commission runs drop off stations at various times and locations in Monongalia County.

Check out this quick video for visual reference of off-campus recycling! 

How can I get a desk-side recycling bin?

While transitioning to single stream recycling, each office or cubicle will receive a new desk-side recycling bin. The schedule linked from a button on our site’s homepage lists when each campus building will receive its bins. If your scheduled time has come and gone and you did not receive a bin, please give us a call! 304-293-9500.

Does single stream recycling mean that I can throw used office ink cartridges and retired electronics in the recycling bin?

No. Single stream recycling applies to only plastics, paper, glass, and light metals like aluminum and tin cans. However, we do recycle used ink cartridges and electronics on campus. Please contact us at 304-293-9500 for further instructions on how to properly recycle such items.

Can I recycle paper towels, tissues, and napkins?

Not at this time. The items above are compostable, but WVU does not currently have a composting program. Please place those items in the landfill bin.

What do I do with shredded paper?

Shredded paper is recyclable. Please keep it contained in a separate bag before placing it in the recycling bin. WVU has partnered with PACE Shredding for confidential document destruction on a larger scale. PACE will pick up boxes of confidential materials, shred them securely, and offer a certificate of destruction and invoice directly to WVU departments. To learn more about this service, visit

Are books recyclable?

Yes. Paperback books can be directly deposited into the recycling bin. Hardback books must have the covers removed. If your office is doing a purge of many boxes of books, you may call us to schedule a pick-up. Please call 304-293-9500.

Can I put cardboard in recycling bins?

Many items used in an office setting come packaged in chipboard, which is flat cardboard found on items like tissue boxes and microwave dinners. Chipboard can be placed in the recycling bin. Cardboard that is used for items like computers and shipped packages is usually corrugated. Corrugated cardboard can be flattened and placed beside the nearest indoor recycling station or taken outside many buildings to a designated cardboard dumpster.

I couldn't finish my lunch. Can I recycle my plastic container with food remnants still inside?

Food and beverage contents can contaminate other recyclables inside the bin. In many cases, this will make commodities like paper virtually un-recyclable. Please rinse out all food and beverage contents from containers before placing them in the recycling bin.

Do I have to remove the lid from my plastic bottle?

No. We can recycle that plastic too!

Why is WVU moving to the empty-your-own-trash system as well?

The culture at WVU, as well as many other universities and companies around the country, has been shifting from a "disposable" mindset to one of “reduce, reuse and recycle." WVU practices a strong commitment to sustainability through such programs as performance contracting for energy conservation and use of alternative transportation. The empty-your-own trash system builds upon the concurrent switch to single stream recycling to make employees more conscious about what they use and throw away, and has been shown at other universities to increase recycling rates by as much as 25 percent. An added benefit of this system is the reduction in time campus service workers spend entering offices, enabling them to service larger areas.

When does it start in my building?

Facilities Management will be rolling out the single stream and empty-your-own trash systems building by building. Administration in each building will get about one month’s notice about the change, and employees will begin to receive verbal, visual and written notice about when these changes will occur.

How does it work?

Employees will be notified of what day the new system will begin. When they arrive at work on the specified date, employees will find a blue recycling bin at their desk. This bin is the new standard bin for single stream recycling. Trash will continue to be collected in the same deskside bin that the employee already has, the only difference will be that now the employee will remove the bin from their office to empty its contents in a hallway trash bin, just as they have already been doing with recycling.

If my bin won’t be emptied by someone else, how will the liner bag be changed?

At the same hallway station where you empty your trash and recycling, you will find a bag dispenser if you wish to line either of your bins. In addition, we encourage you to put the "reuse" philosophy to use and line your bin with grocery bags you may have available.

What do I do when my bin gets dirty?

Wiping your bin down periodically with a wet, soapy paper towel or cleaning wipe should be all the cleaning it needs.

Why is single stream recycling important?

Single stream recycling and empty-your-own trash are two ways in which WVU has chosen to conserve resources. Dozens of universities across the country have introduced empty-your-own trash systems with great success. The capacity of desk-side bins means that many employees may only need to empty theirs a few times per week. In order to make the program successful, everyone must do his or her part.

Do I have to remove the lid from my plastic bottle?

No. We can recycle that plastic too!

Contact Us

Office of Sustainability
975 Rawley Lane | P.O. Box 6555
Morgantown, WV 26506-5555
Phone: 304.293.7916 | Fax: 304.293.7156