Quick Quiz Contest: Contamination in the Dorms

Quick Quiz Contest: Contamination in the Dorms


Due to changes in global recycling markets, contamination standards are getting stricter worldwide. This means recycling centers reject entire loads that have obvious trash in them, sending all the items to the landfill.

We want to work together to keep contaminants out of our recycling, making sure none of the Wildcat recycling gets rejected. Take some of the guesswork out of recycling by following a few simple rules:

  • Size matters (3x3 rule): in order to make it successfully through the recycling sorting process, all items should be at least three inches by three inches, about the size of a regular post-it. Anything smaller (think loose bottle caps, scraps of paper, plastic utensils, straws, etc.) is trash.
  • Keep it clean (and dry): all items should be free of food and beverage debris. If there is any residue, the container belongs in the landfill. A good rule of thumb is if it contained food, best send it to the landfill. Empty bottles of all liquids, even water, prior to recycling.
  • When in doubt, pull out: if you are unsure about whether an item is recyclable or not, it is best to throw it away rather than contaminate the recycling.
  • Keep it (un)covered: bags of any description do not belong in mixed recycling. UA Housing collects plastic bags for reuse in blue containers near your vending machines. If you carry your recycling to the outdoor containers in a bag, dump the contents into the recycling and throw the bag in the trash.

Mixed Recycling DO'S:

  • Plastics numbered 1-7
  • Paper products
  • Aluminum and tin
  • Cardboard (taken to special outdoor cage locations)

Mixed Recycling DON'TS:

  • Wax-covered cups (think hot coffee)
  • Aluminum foil
  • Food/candy wrappers
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic utensils
  • Baggies/Plastic bags (can be repurposed if taken to special collection site)

Ready to test your contamination knowledge? Click here for a chance to win a $100 UA BookStores gift card. 

Open to current UA Housing residents only. Contest closes Friday, October 26 at 12 noon!