Sustainability at The Unions

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Recycling Basics at the Unions

To recycle plastic anywhere in Tucson, you must first decipher what type of plastic you have. Virtually all plastic is labeled with a number, always located inside a recycling symbol triangle. This refers to the density, type of material used, and number of times it has already been recycled (though a number 2 plastic has not necessarily already been recycled twice). Tucson currently only accepts Number 1 and Number 2 plastics. Number 1 plastics, or PETE plastics, are containers like soda and water bottles. Number 2 plastics, or HDPE plastics, include containers like milk, detergent, and oil bottles. Be responsible and always check the type of plastic before throwing it in the recycling bin. Unfortunately, the lids don't count, so remove them, and the liquid in the bottles are best emptied first.

Recycling in the Unions

  • They are currently black combination bins that are labeled for the recycling each bin accepts. Generally, from left to right, they are trash, newsprint (and white paper), plastic, and aluminum.
  • Recycling is easily contaminated. Don't recycle items with food or beverages still inside.
  • Sort your items carefully and look out for others who aren't. Sometimes all it takes is a little education to keep an entire bag of recycling from being ruined.
  • We accept only number 1 and number 2 plastics (see above).
  • Remove all bottle caps before recycling.
  • Some plastic Union cups are recyclable. Be sure to look for the symbol and recycle clean cups in the plastics bins.
  • White paper can be recycled in the newsprint bins.
Recyclemania! through March 28, 2009
  • Help UA win this friendly competition!
  • Over a ten-week period, schools across the nation are reporting recycling and trash data. This information is then ranked according to who collects the most recyclables per capita, the least trash per capita, the largest amount of recycled material, or the highest recycling rate.
  • Check out how our rankings change each week at
  • Check out the following link to see how UA stacks up to the rest of the country here.
  • Do your part to help us win by not only recycling as much as you can in the Unions, dorms, or around campus, but also working to reduce your waste.

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