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NKU's branded bins

NKU's newly branded bins titled "mixed recycling" and "landfill"
NKU's newly branded bins titled "mixed recycling" and "landfill"

Recycling at NKU

The following items can be placed in any recycling receptacle on campus:

  • Aluminum cans/cups
  • Plastic bottles (empty contents, leave lids on)
  • Paper and plastic cups 
  • Glass bottles (remove lids)
  • Plastic tubs (leave lids on)
  • Newspaper, loose leaf paper, magazines 
  • Cardboard, including pizza boxes (empty contents, place large ones next to bin)
  • Books (Place next to bin or submit service request for large amounts. Please consider donating books to your local library or other organization instead of recycling them.)

The following items can NOT be placed in campus recycling bins:

  • Food and other organic products 
  • Food wrappers
  • Straws
  • Tissues and paper towels
  • Styrofoam
  • Plastic utensils 
  • Plastic bags and film (although many stores such as Kroger, Target, and others will accept these to be recycled)


List of items that cannot be placed in standardized recycling: Styrofoam cups, plastic bags, snack wrappers, straws and stirrers
Note: If you have recycling or trash bins that need to be serviced, please call x5660 or put in a service request.

NKU Sustainability has partnered with the Cincinnati Recycling and Reuse Hub to start a program at NKU to collect non-standard recyclables. These are items that cannot be thrown into a regular recycling bin but can be recycled at the CRR Hub. We are starting small but plan to grow the collection process over time.

These items are currently being accepted and can be dropped off in the collection box outside Griffin Hall 358:

  • Used/inactive plastic gift cards
  • EMPTY toothpaste tubes
  • Contact lens cases, blister packs, empty eye drop and solution bottles
  • Empty/dry writing tools - markers, pens, mechanical pencils, dry erase markers, etc.
  • Reusable eyeglasses - sunglasses, reading glasses, Rx glasses, and cases in good condition
  • Yellow tie that comes around printer paper boxes
  • Used/inactive parking passes (these MUST be dropped off at Parking Services only)


Cincinnati recycling and reuse hub

Click here to learn more about the Cincinnati Recycling & Reuse Hub.



Five Duracell batteries standing next to each other

Why is recycling batteries important? 

Batteries contain hazardous materials such as lead and mercury and when they corrode they can leak these materials into the environment. It is especially damaging to the environment to bury batteries. NKU Sustainability and Safety & Emergency Management offices work to protect people and planet by recycling all campus batteries.


Where can I recycle used batteries on campus? 

Battery collection bins are located in the following areas:

  • University Center lobby help desk
  • Student Union lobby help desk
  • Steely Library main check out desk
  • Facilities office in AC 726
  • Griffin Hall 358

**Lithium ion batteries pose a fire risk and MUST be taped at the contact points prior to recycling.**

Service requests can also be placed for other types of batteries to be picked up.

Ink Cartridge Recycling

For small cartridges or 1-2 larger cartridges, you may send them with your NKU mail carrier who collects your outgoing mail. For larger quantities, please submit a Service Request for pick up, or you may also drop them off at Central Receiving in the Landrum Annex.

Click here to print a recycling reminder tag to stick on your various office printers.

Electronics and Metal Scrap

NKU works with two different companies to recycle electronics (e-waste) and metal scrap. You can drop off your items to Central Receiving or submit a service request for pick up.