Waste & Recycling Service Standards

Services Offered

  • Waste Collection and Disposal
  • Recycling Collection and Processing
  • Confidential Document Collection
  • ReUse Warehouse Redistribution and Sales
  • Debris Collection, Processing and Disposal
  • Office and Building Cleanouts for Recyclables
  • Pallet Collection
  • Infectious Waste Collection
  • Brown Goods (computers and other electronics)


Support Services

Type of Service Frequency Frequency Range Hours of Operation
Waste Collection as required daily to once/week M-F 3 am to 1:30 pm
Waste Compactor Service as required daily to once/week M-F 3 am to 1:30 pm
Cardboard Collection as required daily to once/week M-F 3 am to 1:30 pm
Recycling Collection as required daily to once/week M-F 5 am to 3:30 pm
Infectious Waste Collection as required daily to on-call M-F 6 am to 10 am
Confidential Document Collection as requested M-F 8 am to 3:30 pm
Pallet Collection as requested M-F 5 am to 3:30 pm
Office Cleanouts for Recyclables as requested M-F 8 am to 3:30 pm
Building Cleanouts for Recyclables as requested M-F 8 am to 3:30 pm
ReUse Program Warehouse Tuesdays and Wednesdays 8 am to 3 pm
Departments Thursdays 8 am to 5:30 pm
Brown Goods as requested M-F 8 am to 3:30 pm
Type of Service Frequency Frequency Range Hours of Operation
Debris Processing and Disposal when received M-F 7 am to 3 pm
Debris Collection as requested M-F 3 am to 1:30 pm

Waste Collection. Collection of municipal solid waste occurs at the building dock or service area from barrels, dumpsters or compactors. Buildings are serviced on a regularly defined schedule based on volume, type of waste and staging space. Service level is modified as needed depending on changes in building function, occupancy level, and waste generated or as a result of recycling, reuse or other waste abatement activities. Service is finely tuned when containers are within 75% to 100% full but not overflowing. Buildings can be scheduled daily or once, twice or three times a week.

Waste Disposal. All municipal solid waste collected on campus are delivered daily to the Hennepin Energy Recovery Center (HERC) in downtown Minneapolis where it is incinerated for energy recovery.

Recyclable Collection. The collection of recyclables occurs with the assistance of the custodians in each building. Custodians collect recyclables from the quad containers in the building and place them into hampers. Waste Abatement Services collects full hampers from the building on defined collection route schedules. Frequency of collection for a building depends on the volumes of recyclables generated and the space set aside for staging the materials. Frequency varies from once, twice or three times per week to daily. Changes in the frequency of collection are made as needed depending on changes in building occupancy or use and types and volume of recyclables recovered . Service is finely tuned when containers are within 75% to 100% full but not overflowing.

Recyclables Processing. Processing of recyclable materials collected on campus occurs at the Como Recycling Facility, 3009 Como Avenue SE, in Minneapolis. Processing includes sorting of the materials prior to baling. Sorting insures the quality of the materials to secure its demand in the secondary markets. Baling is the preferred method for shipping materials and yields the highest commodity prices.

Confidential Document Collection. This service is provided to departments for the collection of sensitive documents. There is currently no charge for this service as the collection occurs at the same time as the regular recycling collection for the building. Collection occurs as needed and is initiated by a call from the department.

However, departments that are continuous users and have a need for a lockable container in their office at all times are required to purchase the lockable container from Waste Abatement Services. Occasional users obtain containers on a first-come first-serve basis as containers become available. For departments whose documents fall under HIPPA guidelines or cannot meet our conditions for collection are directed to use outside services.

Infectious Waste Collection. Collection of bio-hazardous wastes and animal carcasses occur from docks, laboratories or walk-in coolers around campus. Materials are taken from campus locations to the Como Recycling Facility for removal and disposal by a licensed vendor. The university uses a colored-coded collection container system to manage bio-hazardous wastes. Red barrels are used throughout campus for the collection of animal carcasses only. Grey barrels are used for sharps and non-animal bio-infectious materials (excluding carcasses). Yellow barrels are used for materials that must be incinerated such as chemotherapy residue wastes or low level prion contaminated materials. All animal carcasses are disposed through the alkaline digestor located on the Saint Paul Campus.

Debris Collection, Processing and Disposal. Debris processing and disposal occurs at the Como Recycling Facility from materials that are delivered to the facility by departments. Departments arrange their own deliveries either internally or by arrangement through moving companies. Primary users of this service are CPPM or departments that have excess furniture or equipment. Good furniture and equipment is captured and redistributed through the ReUse Program. All other debris are combined into larger rolloff loads and hauled by Waste Abatement Services to regional disposal facilities or sites (usually landfills). To minimize our liability and impact on the environment, debris wastes are processed to remove all hazardous materials and recyclable components. Waste Abatement Services has limited capacity to provide debris collection service as requested by departments. Additional services levels are provided through us by outside vendors.

Office and Building Cleanouts of Recyclables. Waste Abatement Services provides assistance to departments cleaning out offices or buildings when requested. Hampers for the collection of the recyclables are provided through our recycling collection routes. When necessary, waste collection assistance and delivery of hampers within the building are provided by custodial crews.

This process only includes the collection of recyclable materials that can fit into hampers. It does not include furniture and equipment or other large and bulky items. There is currently no charge for this service since this has been an educational component of our waste management strategy to encourage greater levels of material recovery, revenue, and avoided disposal fees.

Pallet Collection. Small quantities of wooden shipping pallets that are abandoned on docks are collected through our recycling routes. These pallets are used internally for shipping some recyclable materials from our Como Facility to markets. Excess pallets are sold to a pallet recycling company. Revenues from pallet recycling support the collection and removal of larger quantities of pallets from campus.

Brown Goods. Collection of brown goods, such as computer equipment, is provided as needed or requested. Customers can request hampers for the removal of their broken or outdated electronics. Hampers are delivered and collected based on the service frequency for the building through the recycling route schedules.


Brown Goods. Electronic wastes that contain circuit boards or cathode ray tubes (CRT). At the university this includes computers, computer monitors, and their peripherals, audio and video equipment, laboratory equipment and office equipment.

Compactor. Refers to enclosed rolloff containers that act as a receptacle for waste compacted into the container usually by a hydraulic ram.

Confidential Recycling ContainerLockable container used for the collection of confidential paper.

DebrisA type of solid waste that is large and bulky and can not be collected in the same way as municipal solid wastes.

DumpsterMetal outdoor container used for the collection of waste or cardboard at the service area of a building. Capacity varies from 2 to 8 cubic yards. These containers are emptied by rear loading packer (garbage) trucks.

HamperRecycling transport container used to store recyclables collected by the custodians in the building via the quads and used to transport recyclables from the building to the Como Recycling Facility.

Quad Recycling Containers. “Quad Containers” are the University of Minnesota’s recycling program containers within the buildings. They are labeled and color-coded for material identification: grey receptacles with maroon lids (Cans/Bottles), gold lids (Newspaper/Magazines/Books) and grey lids (Office Paper). There is a fourth container for Trash Only with no top.

Municipal Solid WastesThese are wastes generated by individuals on campus in the course of performing their normal work duties and are usually disposed of in trash cans throughout the University. This is in contrast to debris wastes which tend to be large and bulky in nature.

Rolloff. Large metal open top boxes (measuring 8’ x 22’) that are capable of being hoisted and rolled off of a truck specifically designed for hauling them (Rolloff Truck). Used for large quantity of waste or bulky debris.

Large tower of crushed cans ready to be recycled

Waste Management and Recycling Service Standards 
PDF - Last Updated: September 2006