[ skip to content ]

More Information about this image

ODU grounds image with recycling logo

Acceptable Materials

What & Where to Recycle

During normal operations, the Recycling Department accepts a variety of items for recycling.

Exception: During special events such as basketball season or student move-out, we also accept several items that are not allowed on this list, such as plastic stadium cups and wood.

Acceptable Materials

Blend Paper

Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person. To put this in perspective, an average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other products made from trees. This amounts to about 2,000,000,000 trees per year!

This is why it's so important to recycle! Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water.

We accept both white and blend paper.

 Acceptable Materials

  • White paper
  • Color paper
  • White paper with colored ink
  • Envelopes WITHOUT plastic windows or self adhesive labels
  • Yellow legal paper
  • Adding machine tape
  • Manila folders
  • NCR paper
  • Post-it notes


  • Carbon paper
  • Envelopes with plastic windows or self adhesive labels
  • Stickers
  • Tape
  • Kraft or Goldenrod envelopes
  • Construction paper
  • Tissue or wax paper
  • Paper towels
  • Rubber bands


If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we would save about 25,000,000 trees a year. Recycling a single run of the Sunday New York Times would save 75,000 trees. Magazines, catalogs and phonebooks may also be placed in recycling containers.

 Acceptable Materials

  • Newspaper with glossy inserts
  • Phonebooks/Booklets with newsprint
  • Magazines/Catalogs
  • Glossy catalogs
  • Glossy magazines


  • String
  • Very thick or hardboard catalogs


By recycling cardboard, we can save 25% of the energy used to make new cardboard. Approximately 50% of all corrugated cardboard in the U.S. is recycle -- the highest percentage of any paper product.

 Acceptable Materials

  • Corrugated cardboard (Corrugated = holes in side)


  • Chipboard (cereal boxes, six pack containers)
  • Pizza boxes or any cardboard contaminated with grease spots or food
  • Waxed cardboard
  • Styrofoam


Every three months - Americans throw away enough aluminum to rebuild every plane in our commercial air fleet. Using recycled aluminum instead of raw material reduces air pollution by 95%, water pollution by 97% and energy use by 95%. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to run a TV for three hours -- or the equivalent of a half a gallon of gasoline.

 Acceptable Materials

  • Aluminum beverage cans
  • Aluminum foil (rinsed)


  • Any material contaminated with food

Steel/Bi-metal Cans

In the past, tin was often used to prevent corrosion in food cans, but today it is rarely called for in the manufacturing process. Steel is infinitely recyclable. Recycled steel is identical to steel that is produced from virgin ore.

 Acceptable Materials

  • Food cans (rinsed)


  • Pet food cans
  • Tuna cans
  • Non-rinsed food cans


Annually, the U.S. produces the equivalent of 10 pounds of plastic for every person on Earth. Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour! Most of them are thrown away! Plastic is NOT biodegradable, meaning that once in the landfill, it will stay there forever. Recoverable Resources accepts #1 PETE and #2 HDPE plastics. These numbers can be found on the bottoms of plastic containers.

 Acceptable Materials

  • Plastic drink bottles (#1 plastic)
  • Plastic milk containers (#2 plastic)
  • The mouth of the container must be smaller than the body


  • Plastic from food sources, cleaning
  • Solutions, industrial products
  • Food containers such as yogurt, peanut butter etc.

Electronic Waste

Please see E-Waste Recycling for information on how to recycle electronic waste and batteries.

Recycling Locations


  • Alfriend Chemistry
  • Art Studio
  • Batten Arts & Letters
  • Center for Quantitative Fisheries Ecology
  • Constant Hall
  • Diehn Fine & Performing Arts
  • Dragas Hall
  • Education Building
  • Engineering & Computational Sciences
  • Teletechnet / Gornto
  • Health Sciences
  • Kaplan Orchid Conservatory
  • Kaufman Hall
  • Lions Child Study Center
  • Mills Godwin Building
  • Oceanography & Physics Building
  • Peri Nuclear Physics
  • Perry Library
  • Pretlow Planetarium
  • Visual Arts Building


  • Facilities Management
  • Human Resources 1, 2 &3
  • Innovation Research Park 1 & 2
  • Koch Hall
  • Kornblau Alumni Center
  • Navy ROTC
  • Rollins Hall
  • Spong Hall
  • University Auditor


  • Athletic Administration
  • Bud Methany Baseball Facility
  • Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center
  • Powhatan Sports Complex
  • Sailing Center
  • S.B. Ballard Stadium
  • Soccer Stadium
  • Student Recreation Center
  • Wrestling Facility


  • Baron & Ellin Gordon Art Gallery
  • Child Care Center
  • Stables Theater
  • Ted Constant Convocation Center
  • University Bookstore
  • Webb University Center
  • Goode Theater
  • James A. Hixon
  • Barry Arts Building

Residence Halls

  • Dominion House
  • England House
  • France House
  • Gresham Hall
  • Greham Hall Annex
  • Ireland House
  • Monarch / ODU Inn
  • Nusbaum Apartments
  • Powhatan Apartments 1 & 2
  • Rogers Hall
  • Rogers Hall Annex
  • Scotland House
  • University Village Apartments
  • VPBW Scholarship House
  • Virginia House
  • Whitehurst Hall

Site Navigation

Presidential Inauguration

ODU commemorated the inauguration of President Brian O. Hemphill, Ph.D., during Homecoming Weekend 2022. Relive the historic weekend.

Fall Open House

It's time to fall in love with ODU! Join us for our last Open House event of the semester on Saturday, November 19.

Commencement 2022

Visit the Commencement Office for information on event times, caps & gowns, tickets and more!