From electronics to pallets to ceiling tile, recycling at UWM goes beyond paper and aluminum cans.  UWM looks to manage and reduce its waste while looking for new recycling outlets and markets to diversify its opportunities.  Methane from landfills is a greenhouse gas that is over 20 times more harmful to the atmosphere than CO2, making recycling just as important today as it was when the State of Wisconsin first mandated paper recycling on campus nearly 20 years ago.

 Campus Recycling  Construction & Demolition Debris Compost
 Hazardous Waste Recycling  Techno Trash
 What to do with?

For the third year in a row UW-Milwaukee participated in the international campus waste and recycling competition called RecycleMania, a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. Old RecycleMania logo

RecycleMania 2012

This year UWM continued to participate in the formal competition, and added composting and electronics to its overall recycling rate.

For 2012 the Office of Sustainability mainly focused operational changes rather than programming. Actions implemented included:
  • Giving educational materials on what to recycle to custodial supervisors
  • Adding landfill stickers on waste bins to reduce recyclables being thrown in trash

RecycleMania 2012

Total 2012 -All campus participation 

(Housing, Buildings and Grounds, and Student Union)

UWM's final recycling rate was 39%, with the total weight of recycling over the ten week competition slightly over 600,000 pounds! UWM also was above the national average for percentage of recycling to waste in all material collected, at 32%.


Detailed results


A History of Recycling at UWM

·         Yard waste~1984

·         Oil- 1987

·         Paper- 1990

·         Comingled (glass, cans, plastic bottles)- 1995

·         Lab Chemicals- 1995

·         Silver Reclamation (photo fixers)- 2000

·         Toner Cartridges- 2001

·         Freon- 2001

·         Oil Filters (vehicles)-2001

·         Fluorescent lamps and ballasts- 2001

·         Computers and E-waste- 2005

·         Techno Trash- 2008

·         Construction & Demolition waste- 2008

·         Pallets- 2008

·         Carpet- 2008

·         Metal- 2008

·         Compost- 2009