If you have questions or want to request a pickup for recycling please contact: 
-UM Recycling Coordinator: or 406-243-5794
-UM Program Coorinator: or 406-243-5796

Work with us! -- Apply for our Student Recycling Technician positions

The University of Montana diverts approximately one ton of material from the landfill each day through its composting, recycling, and reuse efforts. These efforts include:

  • Missoula Compost Collection picks up leftover food from UM Catering and UM Dining and delivers to our municipal composting facility at Garden City Compost. Coffee grounds and a portion of food leftovers are incorporated into our on-campus production gardens. 
  • Metals are sorted when possible and processed at Pacific Steel and Axmen Recycling.
  • Shipping pallets are reconstructed at Big Sky Woodworks.
  • E-Recycling is processed by Pacific E-Recyclers in Nampa, Idaho. 
  • Furniture and equipment are reused internally or sold to community members through UM's Property Surplus Program.
  • Used fluorescent lights and lamps are processed by Veolia Inc. in Colorado.
  • Surplus items are sold at the two garage and bicycle sales held on campus.
  • Used clothing, furniture, and supplies are collected during campus move out and sold to community at our annual Campus Thrift Sale.

Recycling FAQs

Co-Mingle is the term for mingling together aluminum, metal, plastic, and colored paper. All of these items are sorted and separated at an industrial facility. 


The majority of materials picked up from campus recycling hubs require some sorting before sending to Republic Services Recycling. Republic Services sorts and bales items that are shipped to a larger facility in Oregon where the bales are separated by material and sold as commodities for producting new products such as paper, plastic containers and packaging, aluminum cans, and other items.

Yes, we take pizza boxes, even with a little bit of grease. Please remove any leftover food, sauces, or wax paper before recycling.

Yes, please bag shredded office paper in clear plastic bags, tie them off, and place next to the nearest recycling hub.

No, they are not accepted on campus or at Republic Services.

Books can be recycled through Barnes and Noble in the UC. Please contact by email or by phone at 406-303-3690 to drop off your book or books. Books are donated to organizations who can distribute and use these books.

No, aluminum foil is not recycled at this time in any Missoula or UM facility.

While we don’t recycle glass at UM, one organization does provide a paid service to collect and ship glass in bulk quantities to a industrial recycling facility in Utah. See for more information.

Check on the Sustainable Business Council’s Toward Zero Waste guide for a complete answer to this question. Their response to this question on page 60 is illuminating!

No, please don’t. Our student-funded recycling program is already tight on time, so we’d appreciate you taking your home/personal recycling to one of the many recycling facilities around Missoula. Find those facilities here.

Yes. Please bag your batteries and place them by the recycling hubs located around campus.

Yes, place it by the recycling bins if there is no cardboard box dedicated to toner and cartridges at the recycling station.

Some, but not all. We can recycle all rigid plastics numbers 1 to 7. Check the bottom of the container for the number. No plastic bags, compostable plastics, or any non-plastic item.

No, UM currently does not have a vendor that accepts Styrofoam for recycling, so we do not recycle Styrofoam on campus.

Yes, please! Food waste mixed in with our recycling stream creates additional work (and mess) for our small, hardworking recycling crew. Please empty all food and beverage containers before recycling.

No, please empty any contents from your bottle appropriately and replace the lid on the bottle. Small items like bottle lids can fall through the sorting screens in recycling facilities and won’t be recycled.

Yes, please! This saves us trips to the recycling center, as we can fit much more cardboard into our trailers and cages if it is flattened.