COVID-19 Update

All university offices have resumed in-person operations. Students, faculty & staff must be fully vaccinated or have an approved exemption to return to campus in the fall.

Recycling and Waste Reduction


  • Buy recycled paper for printing
  • Look for materials that include recycled content
  • Avoid bottled water in the office and at events
  • Use refillable water bottles whenever possible (water bottle refill stations located in interior buildings)

More recycling tips from the EPA

Recycling Facts

In 2018, BSU recycled:

  • @179 tons of glass, metal, plastic containers (collected together)
  • @44 lbs of fluorescent light tubes
  • 60 tons of corrugated cardboard
  • @17 tons of white paper with Georgetown Paper
  • @6 tons of paper with Shredding Company for Shred Day event
  • Over 1,000 lbs of rubber tires

BSU Recycles! Bowie State University is committed to minimizing the waste produced by the campus community that ends up in our landfills, thereby decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and our overall carbon footprint.

Our Facilities Management Department, working along with our janitorial contractor ABM, manages waste and strives to make our campus and community cleaner, healthier and more environmentally sustainable.

The most important way for reducing waste is not creating waste to begin with. However, the 3Rs concept is a concept which should be a way of living for all of us on and off campus:

  • Reduce. Conserve resources by purchasing, using, and wasting less.
  • Re-Use. Choose reusable options as often as possible (such as water bottles, multi-use shopping bags, coffee cups, metal straws) instead of one use disposable items.
  • Recycle. Sort your recycling: learn what can be recycled here at BSU and in our communities. See below.

recycling bin

What BSU Recycles

All recyclables including paper, cans, glass, plastics, and bottles can be recycled in one container called mixed or co-mingled Recycling. This process reflects recycling programs in our region. Facilities Management places and maintains the Recycling containers on campus. If you spot a Recycling container that needs to be emptied, please report it to Facilities Management at 301-860-3471.

Keep in mind that any recyclable item should not contain liquid, food waste or residue, or grease.



  • Boxes (does NOT include pizza boxes)
  • Other cardboard pieces/items


  • Bottles
  • Jars


  • Bottles
  • Clamshell containers (clean only)

We also recycle:

  • Ink cartridges (from offices only)
  • Light bulbs (office style fluorescent light tubes)
  • Rubber tires (for BSU maintenance vehicles only)
  • Yard waste
  • Textbooks - see below

BSU does NOT recycle

Campus Recycling Bins

What You Can Recycle Location of Recycling Bin
Office paper (see all items under Paper above, except catalogues)  Most office lobby areas
Office paper (see all items under Paper above, except catalogues)  Office spaces
Bottles, cans and clean plastic containers  Hallways of academic & administrative buildings
Papers, bottles and cans  Student Center ONLY (main lobby)
Mixed paper, bottles and cans  Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing ONLY
Glass ONLY  Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing ONLY (some laboratories)
Paper, bottles, cans and clean plastic containers  Center for Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Nursing ONLY
Paper, bottles, cans and clean plastic containers

 Center for Graduate and Business Studies hallways

Bottles, cans and clean plastic containers

 Solar Trash Compactor

- Student Center walkway
- End of East Promenade, near Haley Hall

Bottles and cans and clean plastic containers  Lobby areas of academic buildings
Plastic, cans, waste  Health and Wellness Center, CMRC

Auxiliary & Residential services

Our trayless Dining Hall utilizes reusable utensils and paper straws which significantly cut down on wasteful plastic that ends up in our landfills and waterways. Our Dining Services vendor also follows the principle of food waste diversion.

The BSU Bookstore has a rental program (students can rent a semester at a time) which keeps textbooks circulating several times over and reduces the need to print more.  Additionally, rather than wasting or trashing used books, the Bookstore buys back books and sends them to another Follett store, or if they cannot be used, they are doanted to Better World Books. 

Residence Halls rooms are outfitted with bins for each room. The recycling efforts in the Residence Halls are undergoing an assessment and will be improved over the next academic year. Please see also Recyclemania below.

Other Initiatives


Bowie State normally participates in a nationwide contest event called ‘Recyclemania’, a friendly competition among 750 colleges and universities to promote waste reduction and raise awareness about the significance of waste reduction programs on college campuses. At BSU, we have made this into a residence hall competition where at the end of the contest, the residence hall that recycles the largest percentage wins a prize. Find more information about Recyclemania here. For more information about Recyclemania at BSU or to promote recycling on campus, please contact Jabari Walker at 301-860-3471 or email

Recycling Textbooks

BSU Bookstore & recently purchased books

Follett Higher Education Group has a rental program that allows students to rent out textbooks at a semester at a time. Follett also buys books back daily.

Rather than textbooks being wasted or trashed, these programs keep textbooks circulating several times over & reduces the need to print more which limits their carbon footprint on the environment.

Non-BSU Bookstore and books older than 3 years

Please contact Better World Books. You can email or call 888-510-7103 (x5310). You can also recycle paperback books through paper recycling because they are made of 100% paper. Hardcover books cannot be put in recycling bins (unless the binding has been removed).

Our Recycling Sponsors

  • ABM.  Please contact Facilities
  • Georgetown Paper (white paper & cardboard). Please contact Facilities
  • Gellar Lighting (light bulbs).  Please contact Facilities
  • A Better Way Computer Recycling (electronic equipment and printer cartridges).  Please contact Sal Martinez
  • Firestone (rubber tires)
  • Shredding Company (our paper shredding event). Please contact Jabari Walker
  • Republic Waste Management