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 international students, who may be used to different recycling systems. 

Our university aims to be zero waste by 2030 to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and improve sustainability on campus. This means that by 2030, no waste should be sent to the incinerator or landfill and all waste should be reused. To achieve this goal, we must ensure that all waste is sorted into the correct stream.  
We have created this handy guide to help you learn more about correct waste separation. 
There are four waste streams here at Utrecht University: 

  1. Paper 

  2. Plastic and Drink Cartons 

  3. Organic waste 

  4. General waste 


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

Plastic and Drink Cartons  

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

No, thanks
Crisp bags, chewing gum packs, styrofoam. 

Remember to remove everything that is non-plastic, such as cardboard or food waste.

Organic waste

Yes, please

Fruit and vegetable peels and food leftovers, and teabags. 

No, thanks

Chewing gum. 


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

Yes, please
Anything that does not belong in any of the other bins, including pizza boxes, tissues and cans. 

We want to limit how much general or residual waste we produce, as it cannot be recycled. This means it is sent to the landfill or incinerator, which leads to environmental pollution and emissions.  


Yes, please:

Any kind of old, broken or obsolete electronic and electrical equipment: Smartphones, laptops, PCs, PC equipment, TVs, screens, charging cables, calculator, disposable vapes / e-cigarettes, coffee machines, washing machines, fridges, etc.

No please:

Lightbulbs and batteries

How to, and where to throw away e-waste

There are no permanent collection points for e-waste on UU premises as of yet. However, the ICT department, and the Green office organize e-waste collection events from time to time where e-waste can be thrown away. 

Lightbulbs and batteries do not count as e-waste, but they can be disposed of in multiple places around Science Park:

  • Sportscentrum Olympos (Upsalalaan 3)
  • UU Greenoffice (Heidelberglaan 8)
  • Spar (Heidelberglaan 1) 


Never throw away e-waste in the regular trash! Always make sure you dispose of e-waste correctly. Information on where to throw away e-waste in Utrecht can be found on the map to your right, on the @greenofficeuu instagram page, or on the internet. Keep in mind that some electronics have the ability to store private data, so think carefully about data security before disposing of any data-storing electronics.

What about statiegeld?

Statiegeld is a deposit recycling system in the Netherlands. When you buy a product with the statiegeld symbol (mostly soda, juice, and beer), you are charged a small additional fee.  

This fee can be redeemed if you return the product to deposit stations. At the science park, deposit machines are located at Spar and the Educatorium. From now on you can find the PET-man and CAN-man on campus, here you can donate your deposit bottles and cans to the Tresór Foundation which protects rainforests! 

Now that you’ve read our guide, we can put knowledge into action! To readily achieve our zero waste goals, we need support from the community. So, let’s all make sure to put our waste in the right place!