How To Recycle

The University of Saskatchewan has an effective and easy-to-use Single-Stream Recycling program. This means that all clean recyclables can be placed in any blue bin around campus and they will be effectively removed from the waste stream. Nearly everything can be recycled, so take the time to get to know and embrace the Single-Stream Recycling system around campus to help us reduce waste.

For more or printable information, please refer to our Single-Stream Recycling Guide.

Single-Stream Recycling

Recycling Signage on the U of S campus

The university's recycling program is single-stream in nature, meaning that all types of recyclables can go into any recycling bin you see on campus. This includes:

  • Paper (clean and uncontaminated)
  • Cardboard
  • Glass
  • Plastic (excluding plastic bags or film)
  • Metal
  • Beverage containers (excluding disposable coffee cups)

Batteries and Small Electronics

Personal batteries and electronics can be recycled by Call2Recycle at various public locations. Visit to find locations near you.

Institutional (work-related) batteries can be brought to the following campus battery collection locations: 

  • Agriculture Stores (Agriculture Building)
  • Health Science Stores (Health Science Building)
  • Safety Resources (Research Annex)
  • Chemistry Stores (Thorvaldson Building)
  • Facilities Stores (University Services Building)
  • WCVM Shipping and Receiving
  • Engineering Shipping and Receiving

Recycling Ink and Toner Cartridges

There are multiple options for recycling ink and toner on campus:

  1. Supreme Basics Recycling Program: Just hand any cartridges to the Delivery Driver when he arrives with your next order.
  2. USask IT Acquisitions: Just drop off any cartridges to their front desk at Room 38 of the Education building and they will deal with the rest.

Other Recyclables

Toner and Ink Cartridges

Supreme Basics, the university's contracted supplier for office and IT supplies, will take back your empty toner and ink cartridges as part of their sustainability program and ensure they are properly recycled. Simply return them to the Supreme Basics driver on the next visit, or contact the dedicated customer service team, or add a note on your next online order to request a pickup. All contacts for the program provided by Supreme Basics can be found on the in this document.

Other Items or Materials

For information on the best places to donate or recycle various materials or items, the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council has a searchable database.

Household Hazardous Waste

Some things need special handling for safe recycling or disposal. For example, compact fluorescent bulbs have small quantities of mercury in them. The City of Saskatoon recycles or disposes safely of a variety of items or materials at their monthly Household Hazardous Waste Days.


Landfill signage on the U of S campus

All non-recyclable, non-hazardous materials can enter the university's landfill waste stream. Remember that landfillable waste is the last resort in the waste hierarchy and that all other options—waste reduction, reuse, recycling, or composting—should be pursued if possible before waste enters the landfill.

Recycling Bins and Containers

Recycling and landfill bins vary across campus, but all bins feature uniform signage as seen below.

Recycling and Landfill signage at the University of Saskatchewan

Office Containers and Bins

Office waste bins on campus

The following bins may be seen in offices around campus.

Please reserve the large open blue bins for bulk paper and cardboard recycling.

For small blue bins with the small black side attachment, use the black bin for landfill waste.

Outdoor Containers and Bins

Outdoor bins around the U of S Campus

The following bins be seen around campus outdoors.

The "Big Bellies", while featuring different signage, are still fine for recycling (left) and landfill (right) waste.

Please do not use large university dumpsters for personal waste.

Educational Signage

One of the Office of Sustainability's educational recycling posters depicting proper coffee cup recycling.

Following the Office's Community-Based Social Marketing recycling communications revamp in 2015, we have begun rolling out educational signage to accompany some of our bins around campus. These posters are meant to highlight some of the more troublesome or confusing aspects of campus recycling and should help to clear up misconceptions.

The five different posters can be seen in PDF format below.

Residence Recycling Guides

For students in residence looking to make full use of the Single-Stream Recycling program, please refer to the following guides that contain building-specific informtaion:

Special Handling Requirements and Unapproved Items

Special Handling Requirements

Shredded paper must be collected within another bag, which must be tied up before entering the Single-Stream Recycling system:

Plastic bags and film is no longer recyclable and must go into the landfill stream.

The following items will be accepted into the Single-Stream Recycling program provided that they are clean and uncontaminated:

  • Lab plastics
  • Custodial cleaning products (please rinse)
  • Aluminum foil

Unapproved Items

While the university's Single-Stream Recycling program is very easy to use, there are some limits to the kinds of items that can be recycled.

The following items cannot enter the Single-Stream Recycling system:

  • Plastic bags or film
  • Food contaminated paper or cardboard (e.g. pizza boxes)
  • Tissues, napkins, and paper towels
    • Special Note: It may be possible to compost these items. While the university does not offer a campus composting program, individual clubs or units may offer composting services. Check with those around you to see if there is a local option for composting these items rather than adding them to the waste stream.
  • Confetti paper
  • Styrofoam and other foam packing materials
  • Light bulbs
  • Window glass, water glasses, or mirrors
  • Batteries
  • Garbage, organize, hazardous, or unregulated waste


Are you planning a special event and need recycling services for it?  Do you need help planning the event to ensure it does not generate a lot of waste? The Office of Sustainability has many resources and tips available for making sure your event maintains a minimal waste footprint. Read more at our Sustainable Events page.

For conferences or meetings, the Sustainable Conference Guide has practical tips for hosting a meeting or conference. The Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council also has some great advice on greening events.

For all other requests, feel free to contact the Office of Sustainability for assistance.

Learn More

There are many reasons to join the recycling efforts on campus:

Local Benefits

  • Net revenue from this program will be directed towards sustainability initiatives on campus. These endeavors could include: expansion of our program to encompass other materials, grants for research projects, hosting symposiums, scholarships and bursaries, and many other initiatives.
  • We employ U of S students.
  • Recycling takes a strain off of our waste disposal system and keeps our campus beautiful.

Global Benefits

  • Consumer goods like beverage containers are made from non-renewable resources. Due to waste, these resources are being rapidly depleted.
  • Non-renewable energy sources are major inputs to the manufacturing and distribution of bottles, cans, and containers. Excessive energy consumption contributes to global climate change.
  • Recyclable materials in the waste stream take up valuable landfill space and are not biodegradable.
  • 10% of the world's aluminum supply is consumed by beverage containers. Recycling will help conserve this resource.
  • It is 20 times more energy efficient to recycle an aluminum container, than to manufacture it from scratch.
  • Conserving landfills preserves land space for other uses such as farmland or natural habitats.
  • Plastic recycling will reduce global dependence on oil.

To learn more about the waste production and reduction, please check out these links: and

Minimize waste by following the waste hierarchy: first rethink, then reuse, recycle, recover and finally send waste to the landfill. Download a waste hierarchy poster here.

A poster showing the hierarchy of waste minimization: rethink, reuse, recycle, recover, and landfill