What Gets Recycled


Most batteries contain hazardous constituents that are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MeDEP), so they must be handled as Hazardous Waste. UNE has developed a battery collection plan in order to streamline the collection process. There are several battery collection sites around both campuses. All kinds of batteries, except automotive batteries, can be placed in any of these bins. Recycling bins are located in the following locations:

Biddeford Campus

  • Decary: first floor, by elevator
  • Campus Center: outside The Hang
  • Library: lobby
  • MSC: first floor, bottom of stairwell
  • Facilities: middle bay near paint shop and copier area
  • East, Avila and Sokokis mail rooms

Portland Campus

  • Alexander Hall: outside cafeteria
  • Proctor: outside mailroom

A UNE student environmental group, Earth's E.C.O., collects used and outdated textbooks and sends them to Better World Books. These textbooks are reused in third world countries or recycled. There are collection boxes on the third floor of Decary Hall and first floor of Marcil Hall on the Biddeford Campus. If you are doing an office cleanout and have a large quantity, contact Facilities Management and Better World Book boxes will be brought to your office for your use and book donation.


On both campuses, cardboard is collected in dumpsters marked “Cardboard Only.” On the Portland Campus, there is a “Cardboard Only” dumpster behind Alexander Hall and another behind Blewett Hall. On the Biddeford Campus, there are “Cardboard Only” dumpsters located near Champlain Hall, behind the Campus Center, Stella Maris Hall, Morgane Hall, past Sokokis Hall near the compactor, behind Facilities Management by the mailroom, and behind Decary Hall. Our waste hauler brings cardboard to EcoMaine for recycling.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent Light Bulbs have a small amount of Mercury that can be harmful if the bulbs are disposed of improperly. However, this heavy metal can be kept out of the environment by recycling the bulbs. If you have a broken or burnt-out bulb, you should place a work order to have maintenance come and dispose of the bulb properly. The UNE Facilities Team recycles all fluorescent, halogen, and metal halide bulbs safely from campus. If you have CFL bulbs at home that have burnt out, any hardware store that sells CFLs will likely take old ones back for recycling.

Computers and Electronics

Because of the lead content in their glass screens, old computer monitors are prohibited from being disposed of in the ordinary trash and therefore require special handling. UNE collects all of its old computer monitors and television sets and sends them off for recycling. Many components of these units are salvaged and recycled, including plastic casing, glass, wires, and metals from circuit boards. Obsolete or damaged computer towers, telephones, copiers, and fax machines are also included in these shipments because they contain many of the same components that can be recycled. UNE's IT department is responsible for removing technology from use at UNE and coordinating with Facilities and EHS to collect old equipment ready for disposal. Please contact IT to dispose of old computer equipment and place a work order for EHS to pick up other electronics for recycling.

Confidential Documents

There are a few departments at UNE that regularly have the need to dispose of confidential documents. They utilize a document destruction service provided by Without A Trace. Without A Trace will place a locked bin in your office, which can be filled. Without A Trace will then remove the bin, shred and recycle the documents, and then provide your department with a certificate of destruction. There are other local services as well, such as incineration at Ecomaine and mobile shredding through Iron Mountain. If you shred confidential documents on campus, please see the "Shredded Paper" section below for proper recycling procedures.

Cooking Oil

Cooking oil from both campuses is picked up by Maine Standard Biofuels, a company located in Portland, Maine, that then recycles the used vegetable oil by mixing it with diesel fuel to make biodiesel.

Food Waste

100% of the food waste from the Biddeford and Portland campuses (more than 16,000 gallons each semester) is picked up by Garbage to Garden and composted at Benson Farm in Gorham, Maine. Compost is returned to UNE for use in flower beds.

Ink and Toner Cartridges

Ink and toner cartridges can be placed in bins labeled "Toner and Ink Cartridge Recycling Only" on both campuses. The cartridges are picked up by WB Mason for recycling. Recycling bins are located on the Biddeford Campus Decary first floor by elevators, Avila Hall mailroom, East Hall mailroom, Sokokis Hall mailroom, and Facilities Management mailroom. A recycling bin is located on the Portland Campus in the Hersey-Proctor connector.

Mixed Paper

Noncorrugated cardboard and mixed paper can be co-mingled with the single-sort recycling materials in the green bins and toters on both campuses.

Motor Oil

UNE uses AMS Synthetic Oil in the mechanic's shop for all fleet vehicles and equipment. This oil provides 3-4 times the efficiency of regular oil. As a result, UNE vehicles have their oil changed once every 25,000 miles, rather than the typical 3,000 miles. After an oil change, the synthetic oil is collected in a 55-gallon drum and picked up by Stericycle for recycling and fuel blending.

Packing Peanuts

The post office in Biddeford (100 Alfred St., Biddeford) and UPS Store in Saco (4 Scammon St., Saco) accept packing peanuts from the UNE community. You can drop off your box or bag of Styrofoam peanuts during regular hours.


Pallets are used as firewood for UNE events involving bonfires, used for building projects (such as temporary cardboard recycling bins during "move-in" weekend), or hauled away for recycling.


Refrigerants are impactful greenhouse gases that persist in the atmosphere for centuries, so it is very important that they be captured and reused. UNE's HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technicians have been trained to recapture these gases from refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners on campus before the units are recycled. The refrigerants are then charged into other units to be reused. Any gases that escape are quantified and added to the university's carbon footprint.

Scrap Metal

Scrap metal is collected on both campuses in a dumpster and hauled away for recycling on an as-needed basis.

Shredded Documents

Shredded paper is so light and easily dispersed that UNE's recycling and grounds crews and Ecomaine's recycling facility ask that it be contained within a plastic bag. The bags should be packed as tightly as possible and placed in a recycling toter on campus. At the recycling facility these bags are sorted out, opened up, and emptied directly into the hopper that contains paper for recycling.


The Sustainability Office uses a company called GreenDisk to recycle computer-related waste such as VHS tapes, CDs, DVDs, and jewel cases. Greendisk will securely destroy old data, recover reusable components, and recycle all the rest. If you have a large quantity of material to recycle, please contact GreenDisk yourself for a shipping box. If you have a small quantity, you can send it through interoffice mail to the Sustainability Office.


The State of Maine requires the recycling of tires. UNE brings tires that are changed off fleet vehicles to Route One Recycling in Arundel.

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