The Proper Guide on How To Be Trashy on Campus

The Proper Guide on How to be Trashy on Campus

Refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle is what we preach at the Green Office. However, the recycling bins at the university can sometimes raise questions. This is especially true among foreign students, who are used to different recycling systems in their own countries.

That is why University College Utrecht (UCU) asked us to create a recycling poster for all UCU dorm rooms. This way, their students can always know how to properly sort their trash.

In order for you to benefit from the same information, we have made the same useful information and links available on this website, so that you can be confident in your ability to navigate the recycling system in Utrecht.

Please note that this information is based on the arrangements of bins on the UCU campus, which are split into the following categories: paper, plastic (PMD), general, and glass. Other university buildings might offer different selections.


Yes, please
Sheets of paper, egg cartons, envelopes (with or without windows), magazines, cereal boxes

No, thanks
Wet paper, tissues, any visible plastic

Make sure you remove all visible plastic from the paper material

PMD (Plastic, Metal and Drink Cartons)

Yes, please
Plastic bags and cups, small plastic bottles (that don't have a deposit), yoghurt cups

No, thanks
Crisp bags, chewing gum packs, styrofoam

Milk & juice boxes, aluminium cans, and foil can be placed in the PMD bins at the Utrecht Science Park. However, the bins in the UU buildings in the city centre are still only plastic. They do not have the PMD feature yet. If you're in the city centre and would like to also separate your PMD, you can use the Utrecht municipality's 'Plastic, blik en pak' trash containers

Remove everything that is non-plastic, such as stickers

General waste

Yes, please

Anything that does not belong in any of the other bins

Did you know...

...that if we recycled all newspapers, we could save over 250 million trees each year?


Yes, please
Nutella jars (without lid), pasta sauce jars, wine bottles

No, thanks
Light bulbs and drinking glasses, which belong in 'general waste'


  • Most beer bottles should go back to the store
  • Remember to remove all plastic lids

In recent years, Utrecht University has been actively working on recycling more waste. While the percentage of residual waste has already fallen sharply, the university is aiming to reduce it to a mere 30% by 2020. Follow the links below for more information.