Solid Waste and Recycling

Cal Poly contracts for collection of solid waste and recycling. Cal Poly Facility Services operates an integrated waste management program that includes source use reduction, recycling, greenwaste, resale of scrap metal and surplus equipment, and zero waste event catering.


Recycling containers are provided to faculty, staff, and students by Facility Services, and collection is performed by Custodial Services and the campus Recycling Coordinator.  For questions regarding recycling or to request additional containers, please contact the Recycling Coordinator at 805-458-2602, or email

What items and materials can be recycled?

These items CAN be recycled:

  • Most paper, including:
  • Cardboard
  • Envelopes (even with windows)
  • Junk mail
  • Magazines
  • Newsprint
  • Stapled Paper
  • Most Plastics (except Styrofoam #6)
  • All empty beverage containers
  • Glass, plastic & aluminum

These items can NOT be recycled:

  • Aerosol cans
  • Ceramic materials
  • Food
  • Hazardous material
  • Kleenex
  • Light bulbs
  • Paper cups
  • Paper towels
  • Squeezable paper juice containers
  • Styrofoam cups and plates
  • Wax paper

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Universal Waste

The following universal wastes and materials require special handling for recycling or disposal, please use the guidelines below.

  • Batteries may be recycled by delivering to the Facilities Services Warehouse. For a small number of batteries, inter-office mail is ok.
  • Fluorescent Tubes contain mercury and should be delivered to the Facilities Services Warehouse for proper disposal.
  • Compact Fluorescent Lamps contain mercury and should be delivered to the Facilities Services Warehouse for proper disposal.
  • Ultrex, Cal Poly’s photocopier provider, will place a Konica Minolta Clean Planet Box by each machine for all empty toner cartridges – Konica, Dell, HP, Brother, etc. Ultrex will pick up all empty toner cartridges, monthly. However, if the box is getting full before your monthly visit, the end users can contact Ultrex directly by either calling the office at (805) 783-1234 and speaking with Melissa, or emailing Melissa at Ultrex would prefer to pick-up all of the empty cartridges. With the Clean Planet Program that Konica Minolta has operational, all empty cartridges will be recycled rather than ending back up in the landfill.
  • Ink jet cartridges are common recycling

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Hazardous Waste

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Confidential Shredding

Pile of Shredded Paper The risk of sensitive information falling into the wrong hands is a continuous threat to the confidentiality, and integrity of Cal Poly information assets. Cal Poly employees are responsible for properly handling confidential data as described in the Information Classification and Handling Standard. The Record Retention and Disposition Standard can assist you to determine the period of time that a record/information shall be kept to ensure compliance with legal and regulatory requirements. The following recommendations are to help you keep Cal Poly data secure through the disposition process:

The following recommendations are to help you keep Cal Poly data secure through the disposition process:

  • Shred confidential information when it is no longer needed.
  • Do not discard confidential data in the trash.
  • Keep sensitive recyclable data separate, secure, and identified as confidential.
  • Use a clearly marked, locking bin for central departmental storage of confidential information that will be shredded outside the department.
  • Containers should be kept in a secure, non-public area.

What if your department doesn’t have a shredder or centralized area?

  • Purchasing a shredder for your office is the recommended best practice. There are many affordable options available on the market.
  • Submit a service request via the my.calpoly portal or contact the Facilities Management & Development Help Center at 756-5555 or to request a confidential shred pick up. Please note that all service requests must include contact information, location (building and room number), and total number of boxes.
  • Confidential shred pick up is scheduled for most Wednesdays.
  • Write confidential on the container holding the contents to be shred and tape the container closed. Each container should be 20 X 16 X 12 inches or smaller and should not exceed 40lbs. The common copy paper box is recommended. For the safety of employees boxes larger than this may not be picked up and may need to be re-boxed by the department.
  • Store the confidential container in a secure, locked area until released to Facilities Management & Development personnel. A signature will be requested to ensure chain-of-custody requirements are met.
  • Please do not include 3-ring binders with the documents, they cannot be shredded.

REMEMBER: Identity theft is on the rise, so it is important to treat other people’s information as if it was your own.

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