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Recycling: What to Put Where?

The University is a community of students and staff, and one of the largest workplaces in Iceland. This of course means vast consumption, and with consumption comes garbage. Recycling garbage can reduce pollution by decreasing the waste we create.

In February 2016 changes were made to the recycling system at the University of Iceland in order to conform with the City of Reykjavík. The changes affect the blue bags, which are currently for all paper products, and the green bags, which are currently for all clean plastic material.

But how does the recycling system at the University work?

All bottles and aluminium cans should be placed in the red bag.

All empty plastic containers, plastic material and metals should be placed in the green bag.

  • It is important to remove any leftover food from the containers; 99% clean is sufficient.
  • Any food left in the containers should be placed in the organic waste bin.
  • Note that it is okay to put clean styrofoam food packaging into the green bag.

All clean paper products should be placed in the blue bag.

  • This includes paper cups, leaflets, office paper, newspapers, and paper packaging.
  • It is important that these do not contain leftover food, but 99% clean is sufficient.
  • Note that the plastic lids from coffee cups should go in the green bag, as well as plastic straws from cartons.

The black bag is for all non-recyclable waste, such as chewing gum and mixed materials.

Try to use the black bag as little as possible. There are only few things that should go there. 

Note the exceptions!

  • You shouldn’t put batteries into the black bag.
  • You shouldn’t put toxic waste into the black bag.
  • You shouldn’t put electrical appliances into the black bag.
  • The above listed components should be taken to the nearest recycling centre of SORPA or to the closest supervisor of the University.

The organic waste bin is for food waste and paper napkins only - nothing else.

Here you can find a video on the recycling system at the UI. Note that because of changes it is now okay to put clean styrofoam food packaging into the green bag. The text will be updated soon.

It is important to sort your garbage correctly so that we can recycle it. We encourage you to learn what should go in which bag and remind you that reducing waste, for example by avoiding disposable packaging and cups, is a great way to protect the environment.

Please contact sjalfbaerni@hi.is if you have any further questions regarding recycling at the University of Iceland.

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