Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of questions we frequently receive from campus and community members. We hope this will be a helpful resource for you. If you do not see what you are looking for here, please feel free to contact us with your inquiry!

Thanks for thinking of us! The Office of Sustainability moved into the Division of Business Affairs in July 2018, and in that move, Campus Life retained management of the University’s Green Fund. As a result, the Office of Sustainability no longer oversees the Green Fund or any of its accounts. Instead, we served in an advisory capacity to the Green Fund Committee from 2018 - 2020 during this transitional period. If you have questions about your project, account, or are considering applying for funding in the Green Fund’s upcoming funding cycle, please reach out to the Green Fund Program Director, Chrissy Lieberman, at ceagan@arizona.edu or Green Fund Program Coordinator, Julia Rudnick, at rudnick1@arizona.edu.

Facilities Management, in partnership with Waste Management and Republic Services’ ReCommunity Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), offers modified single-stream recycling on campus. You may recycle clean, dry, and empty plastic bottles, aluminum cans, paper and cardboard in any of the recycling containers inside or outside buildings throughout campus. You can leave labels on cans and bottles, and the plastic windows on junk mail can stay in place - no need to remove them before recycling. Keep the lids on plastic bottles and glass jars because loose lids can jam the machinery at the recycling facility. Catalogs and magazines can go in the recycling bins, but bound books cannot.

You can also recycle:

  • Clean cardboard milk and orange juice cartons
  • Clean aluminum foil and foil pie plates or bakeware
  • Phone books

Please note that the following additional items cannot be recycled in the campus bins:

  • Bound books - reach out to Jill Burris, our campus’ Recycling & Waste Manager with Facilities Management to coordinate special recycling of bound books
  • Plastic straws
  • Batteries - visit Tucson Clean and Beautiful for a directory of locations near you that will accept used batteries
  • Styrofoam
  • Aerosol cans
  • Anything smaller than a tennis ball, including
    • Sample size plastic containers (lotion, shampoo, etc.)
    • Plastic prescription and pill bottles
  • Plastic bags*

*The exception is that clear plastic bags can be used for shredded paper. Shredded paper can only be recycled at the MRF if it is bagged in a clear plastic bag; otherwise, the paper can create excessive litter.

When in doubt, throw it out. If you are unsure of whether or not something is recyclable, it is better to leave it out of the recycling bin than to risk contaminating an entire load. Contaminated loads will be automatically turned away from the MRF and redirected to the landfill.

To learn more about recycling on campus, check out FM's Recycling and Waste Management page.

Starting February 1, 2021, glass will no longer be accepted in blue bins at residential homes or commercial properties around the city. However, the University of Arizona will continue to accept glass in single- and multi-stream recycling receptacles on campus.

Residential glass can still be dropped off at 22 sites around the city, but starting on February 1, 2021, do not place it in your blue bin at home. More information can be found at the Arizona Daily Star

If you are interested in dropping off any compostable material at the University of Arizona Community Garden, please email compostcats@email.arizona.edu. Composting at the Garden is now under the management of Compost Cats and we have limited capacity to accept new material through January 2021. 

We do! The Office of Sustainability is working with the Arizona Institutes for Resilience: Solutions for the Environment and Society (AIR) to make these programs easier for prospective students like you to find. Check out AIR’s Green Guides, where you can browse through more than 500 “green” courses and engagement opportunities, and learn more about all of the University’s undergraduate degree programs that feature environmental or sustainability components.
Of course, depending on our availability. We ask for at least a week of advance notice so that we can accommodate you in our schedules. You are welcome to use the information on this website for your project purposes, and you may also reference any of the articles featured in our News & Events section. For inquiries related specifically to recycling on campus, please reach out to Jill Burris, our campus’ Recycling & Waste Manager with Facilities Management or call 520-621-7558. Inquiries related to composting should be directed to our staff within the Office of Sustainability. For inquiries related to sustainability in the dorms, please connect with Jill Burchell, Senior Coordinator, Sustainability Operations and Initiatives with Housing & Residential Life or call 520-626-9179. For inquiries related to energy use on campus, please connect with Michael Hoffman, our campus’ Energy Manager in Facilities Management, or call 520-621-9009.

We serve as a resource for all campus stakeholders, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We are centrally involved in the University’s Strategic Plan, and we also serve on several committees for the University’s Campus Master Plan efforts. We co-lead all University Climate Change (UC3) and climate resiliency/carbon neutrality efforts alongside the Arizona Institutes for Resilience: Solutions for the Environment and Society (AIR) and numerous Business Affairs units, respectively. Additionally, we currently serve as advisors to the Associated Students of the University of Arizona (ASUA)’s Students for Sustainability, and previously advised the University’s Green Fund.

We recognize that environmental and sustainability efforts at the University have historically been fairly siloed, and our intention is to be a bridge and central clearinghouse for these efforts so that University and community stakeholders can more easily navigate resources.

Thank you for your interest in working with us! At this time, we do not have any graduate assistantships available, however, please check back with us periodically. We may be able to offer assistantships in the future, contingent on our budget.
Thank you for your interest in the Office and our efforts! First, please sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our most timely opportunities for involvement. Beyond this, we are currently building out our capacity to include more campus and community members in our work. So, while we do not have many opportunities at this time, we will in the near future!