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Utilities - Sustainability

Items to Recycle:

Most grades of paper can go directly into any blue recycling bag on campus. At the campus recycle center we separate paper into two grades. A Sorted Office Pack is mostly white paper; files, blue prints, etc. and is treated as confidential is shredded before it leaves campus. Mixed paper is mostly publications, color paper stock, white cardboard, etc. Recycling bags, racks, blue bins & locks can be obtained from Materials Management at no cost, Departments are responsible for putting security locks on the blue recycle bags.

  • For employee safety please do not over fill the blue bags, they should weigh less than 40 pounds.
  • To meet HIPPA Compliance do not stage blue bags in hall ways, call Service Response at 77204040 to schedule a pickup.
  • We accept already shredded paper in clear plastic bags.
  • For large cleanouts you can check out locked green 30 gallon totes (these have slits on the top and hold three recycle bags) from Republic Services by calling 281-808-2389.

Copy Paper
Lined Paper
Glossy Paper
Post-It Notes
Scratch Paper
Colored Paper
Shredded Paper
Blueprint Paper

File Folders
Envelopes with Labels & Windows
Index & Business Cards
Telephone Books
Junk Mail
Books (remove hard covers)

UTMB receives tons of corrugated cardboard on campus every day. Recycling one ton of cardboard saves over 9 cubic yards of landfill space and saves hundreds of dollars in waste disposal fees. Help by recycling cardboard the following ways.

  • Flatten your boxes and make sure they are empty. (They take up less space and make it easier for Environmental Services to pick up.)
  • Do not include any packing material such as shrink wrap or "Styrofoam" peanuts.
  • Staples and tape do not need to be removed.

If you have large volumes of cardboard, please call Service Response at 772-4040 schedule a pickup.

UTMB collects all clean plastics 1-7 on campus. The styrofoam is pulled from the plastics and sent to the City of Galveston Eco-Center. Confidential plastics like medicine bottles, compact disk, video tapes, patient ID bags, etc. are shredded before being recycled. All other plastics are comingled and shipped to Houston Recycle Center in a box trailer. Call Service Response at 772-4040 to schedule a pickup.

Plastic container code system.





Polyethylene Terephthalate

Soft drink, water, jelly, peanut butter, & salad dressing bottles


High Density Polyethylene (HDPE)

Milk, water, juice & detergent bottles, 5 gallon buckets,


Vinyl/Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)

Construction products; pipes & siding


Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE)

Plastic film items; wraps & bags,
squeezable bottles


Polypropylene (PP)

Durable food containers that are
heat & cold tolerant


Polystyrene (PS)

Styrofoam fast-food packaging & peanuts


Polycarbonate (ABS) & other resins

Ridged beverage & baby bottles,
sunglasses, computer parts

Polyethylene (high density and low density) accounts for the largest volume, with 10.4 billion pounds of U.S. sales. Polypropylene contributed another 8 billion and polyvinyl chloride (including copolymers) 7.7 billion pounds. Polyester (thermoplastic and unsaturated, no textiles) accounted for 2.9 billion pounds (6 percent) of U.S. sales. These billions of pounds of thermoplastics offer the opportunity to recycle. The nature of a thermoplastic is such that it can be re-melted or extruded into remanufactured products.

Pallet Recycling and Reusing

UTMB takes pride in adding pallets to it's conservation program. Pallets are either recycled, reused or returned to area vendors.
To report pallets for pickup, call Republic Service at 281-808-2389.
Ink Jet Cartridges
Ink Jet cartridges are recycled through a recycling vendor.  For your convenience, used cartridges may be put in a manila envelope and dropped in the campus mail to the Sustainability Coordinator, Route 1113.
Toner Cartridge Recycling
UTMB does collect toner cartridge in good condition that can be refurbished and/or refilled. Contact Sodexo for a toner cartridge pick-up at Service Response at 772-4040 
Mercury Thermometer Exchange
Texas has a statewide mercury fish advisory for the coastal marine waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and fish advisories for a number of fresh-water lakes and rivers. In light of such findings and related issues surrounding persistent bio accumulative toxic (PBT) chemicals, it makes sense to consider mercury alternatives.
In 2010, UTMB was recognized by the EPA for its commitment to reducing priority chemicals (by providing mercury-free healthcare) through the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities. Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) is continuing to promote using mercury alternatives in support of laboratories who voluntarily replace mercury thermometers with less hazardous alcohol thermometers at no cost.
To participate in EHS’s mercury-free thermometer exchange program, go on line to: http://www.utmb.edu/ehs/EPM/EPM.html and select chemical pick up, complete the form for mercury pickup and ask for mercury-free replacement.

Facilities Wastes (common waste)
Facilities or universal waste is a specific type of hazardous waste that is subject to more relaxed standards of accumulation, recordkeeping and shipping requirements than those of chemically hazardous wastes. Universal wastes include batteries, pesticides, mercury-containing lamps, mercury-containing equipment (including thermostats), paint and paint related waste and are regulated by EPA and TCEQ. Universal wastes are considered harmful to the environment and cannot be thrown away in the trash dumpster.

Batteries may contain toxic and/or corrosive materials and must be collected in an environmentally responsible manner. If you generate de-charged, expired or worn-out batteries, begin collecting the batteries for EHS pickup and disposal.
Tape all battery terminal ends you are collecting to prevent contacts from touching and creating a fire. Segregate battery type per container, such as a neat cardboard or plastic box, and label the container appropriately, i.e.:

  • Universal Waste: Nickel Cadmium (NiCad) Batteries - Commonly used in rechargeable power tools, radios, cameras
  • Universal Waste: Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Batteries - Commonly used in rechargeable power tools, radios, cameras
  • Universal Waste: Lithium Batteries - Commonly used in cell phones, watch batteries, medical monitoring equipment
  • Universal Waste: Lead Acid Batteries - Commonly used in vehicles, computers
  • Non-Hazardous (can be disposed of as regular trash): Alkaline Batteries - Commonly used in pagers, medical monitoring equipment

To request a battery pickup and disposal, please fill out the “Chemical Waste Pick-Up Request Form” found online at http://www.utmb.edu/ehs/EPM/EPM.html.
Electronic Wastes (E Waste)
Electronic devices such as computers, cell phones, fax machines, wireless devices, and other electronics contain heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and cadmium. These items should be handled in an environmentally responsible manner.
U TMB has an asset-management program in place for capital electronic items. The information below is provided for how electronic wastes are managed.

  • Any item with a UTMB identification tag must be returned to Inventory through the Surplus Property Warehouse located at Materials Management basement - Useable computers are donated to other state entities.
  • Broken computers and other electrical equipment are collected by Surplus staff for recycling.
  • Please visit http://www.utmb.edu/logistics/surplus_property/surplus_property.htm for the “Surplus Equipment Warehouse Form” to be filled out and submitted for Surplus recycling.
  • If your Area generates e-waste and is not managed in the above processes, please collect for recycle through EHS.

Schedule e-waste pick up requests on-line at: http://www.utmb.edu/ehs/epm/epm.html; click on the Chemical Waste Pick-up Request and