Items that are technically recyclable but are not allowed in the single stream are considered Hard to Recycle Materials. Common ones found at UGA are polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), shredded paper, film plastics, batteries, electronics, toner cartridges, furniture, hardcover books, and outdated electronic media. Many of these items can be taken to the Athens-Clarke County Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM), some are handled internally by UGA, and some have other options. Styrofoam egg cartons and clean food and drink containers can be recycled at Publix Supermarkets.

If you need help with large items or large quantities, email to receive an automatic reply with instructions for entering a work request.

If you have surplus UGA property (inventoried or not) that you no longer need, consider posting it to the Surplus Property Listserv. You can join by sending your name and UGA email address to This streamlines the surplus property transfer between UGA personnel and keeps excess inventory from the landfill.

Batteries are collected in a “Universal Waste” container for recycling. Ask your building services supervisor for the location of the battery recycling bucket in your building. Personal batteries are also accepted at the CHaRM for a fee.

According to the EPA, alkaline batteries are allowed in the landfill. The CHaRM will accept both rechargeable and alkaline batteries from UGA and community members. Alkaline battery recycling is not available in most communities due to a costly and labor intensive recycling process. While ACC does not prefer to receive alkaline batteries, they accept these materials in order to keep them out of the landfill. We encourage individuals to use rechargeable batteries when possible.

Video tapes, CDs, DVDs, floppy disks, and other “technotrash” can be sent at your department’s expense to GreenDisk.

If the electronics are the property of the State or UGA they must be brought to UGA Surplus located in the Chicopee Complex at the corner of Broad and First Streets. Items are made available for reuse by other departments on campus, donated to approved nonprofits, or sold to outside vendors.

UGA partners with the Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division to host a Recycling Happy Hour during Earth Week each spring. Cell phones, computers, TVs etc. are all accepted.

If you prefer not to wait for a collection event, please recycle your electronics at the Athens-Clarke County CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials). Note that there is a small fee to drop off televisions and monitors. Working computer equipment can also be donated to Free IT Athens.

Clean film plastics such as shopping bags, deflated air bags from shipped packages, and shrink wrap can be bundled up and brought to the CHaRM, placed in the appropriate container at most supermarkets, or placed in a Bag the Bag bin in most UGA Housing residence halls. Film plastics should never go in the mixed recycling bins!

If the furniture is the property of the State or UGA it must be brought to UGA Surplus located in the Chicopee Complex at the corner of Broad and First Streets. Items are made available for reuse by other departments on campus, donated to approved nonprofits, or sold to outside vendors.

Hardcover books cannot go in the single stream unless the covers are completely removed. Intact hardcover books are accepted at the CHaRM, where they are sent to a facility where the pages and covers are separated for appropriate recycling. 

If you have a large quantity, box them up yourself and get them to your building's loading dock. Then email for instructions to enter a work request for pickup. Support Services will transport them to the CHaRM for you.

Blocks of polystyrene can be taken to the CHaRM or to any Publix customer service desk. Polystyrene containers such as egg cartons can be taken to Publix.
Polystyrene packing peanuts should be reused where possible, or you can call the local UPS Store to ask if they will accept them. You can also call the Plastic Loose Fill Council’s Peanut Hotline at (800) 228-2214 for other options.

Note that some packing peanuts are made of cornstarch and can either be composted or dissolved in water. 

Shredded paper must always be put in a clear plastic bag and tied closed so that it does not make a mess. Most buildings on campus have a shredded paper roll cart (sometimes labeled “Office Paper Only”). These carts are collected separately from the other mixed recyclables. Bagged shredded paper can also be taken to the CHaRM.

Preferably, use the return mailing box and label that should come with your replacement cartridge to send the old one back to the manufacturer. Otherwise, you may send cartridges via Campus Mail addressed to “KACCB – Cartridge Recycling” where it will be relayed to Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful for recycling. Finally, you may take cartridges to the CHaRM.