Living@Guelph - Choose Your Own Adventure Living
On-Campus Recycling

Enhanced Recycling at the University of Guelph.
There are two main "streams" of waste on campus, Recyclables Only and Garbage Only.

Recyclables Only takes all of the things that can possibly be put in a Blue Box, plus some extras. Recyclables Only receptacles are labelled as such, and should be lined with a clear plastic bag. The main categories are paper, glass, metal and plastic. The main difference is that all of these things go into one container or bag, and don't need to be separated from each other. They should be loose, not compacted or packed together. They must be clean.

Paper includes magazines, computer/photocopy paper, coloured paper, posters, books, envelopes, and newspaper, "any colour, any type." This includes boxboard and cardboard, for example, cereal boxes, paper cups and large corrugated cardboard packing boxes.

Office areas and high paper output areas like photocopiers are also provided with blue cans (which don't need bags), which are designated Fine Paper Only. You may put envelopes, computer/photocopy paper and coloured paper in these bins, but NOT newsprint, boxboard or cardboard.

Plastic includes pretty much all the codes (1, PET; 2 HDPE; 5 PP, etc.). This means pop bottles, bleach bottles, and even shopping bags. It DOES NOT include candy wrappers, potato chip bags and saran wrap. These have to go in Garbage Only containers.

All metal and glass are accepted, including lids. Food tins, pop/beer cans, glass jars and bottles are all recyclable as long as they're emptied and preferably rinsed. Labels do not have to be removed.

Garbage Only cans are for things that cannot be recycled, or are too dirty to be recycled. Garbage Only cans should have a black bag. All food wastes, styrofoam (polystyrene), and items contaminated by human body fluids (bandages, tissues, etc.) must go into these containers. It also includes questionable in-betweens, like candles, waxed paper and gum.

Liquids (coffee, juice, water) should not be put in either container, but either used up or poured out.

This system is slightly different than the one used in the rest of the city, which is called "Wet-Dry". The sorting is similar, Recyclables being roughly equivalent to Dry with a couple little changes. The significant difference is that the Wet stream is composted, and so has to be kept free of things that won't break down, that aren't organic. The Garbage Only on campus is not composted, but goes straight to landfill.