Reducing Our Waste Footprint

To reduce the environmental impacts of our waste, UW Bothell strives to divert as much waste as possible from the landfill, filtering it instead into composting and recycling streams. The following actions help us reduce our total landfill waste on campus:waste bin with recycling, trash, and compost receptacles

  • UW Bothell contracts with Recology to provide single-stream recycling and compost service in addition to trash service, which allows the campus community to recycle all commercially recyclable and compostable materials.
  • Triple station bins with educational signs for what to compost, recycle, and throw away have been installed in most of the campus buildings. Event bins are provided for additional waste support, so that all UW Bothell-held events have compost and recycling options.
  • Cafes on campus are stocked with compostable plates, flatware, and cups wherever possible and these can be disposed of in the compost bins.
  • UW Bothell composts food waste and yard waste on-site, which allows the campus to re-use some of its own organic material on campus garden beds, through vermicomposting and yard waste compost managed by the Grounds Department.
  • Facilities Services coordinates the collection of other institutional waste including block styrofoam, wood pallets, and scrap metal.
  • Electronic waste receptacles throughout campus for collecting lightbulbs, batteries, and cell phones.
  • Large equipment, appliances and furniture that are no longer needed are returned to the UW Surplus program which handles the collection and re-allocating of all extra materials throughout campus.outdoor yard waste compost bins built from recycled wood pallets
  • Hazardous waste generated at UW Bothell is disposed of through the University of Washington’s institution-wide hazardous waste disposal program through the Environmental Health and Safety Department.
  • Efforts are made to reduce paper use and waste throughout the department and the campus. All printers are automatically set to double-sided printing and all paper centrally purchased by UW Bothell is made from recycled material. 


MiniMax Waste Systems

Very little of what is thrown away on campus actually belongs in the landfill. The MiniMax program has been adopted to make waste sorting easier for building occupants, reduce landfill waste, and allow custodial staff to spend more time on essential cleaning tasks. The UW Bothell Sustainability Office works with building coordinators, occupants, and custodial staff to ensure that containers are accessible and consistent. 

Offices & Workstations 

Desk-side garbage bins in individual offices and workstations have self-service MiniMax containers consisting of a blue recycling bin, with an attached 3-quart black or grey landfill bin. Both promote personal responsibility for waste generation. Staff are responsible for emptying their containers into the centrally-located recycling and landfill bins.

Frequently Asked Questions 

I'm on the MiniMax program at my desk, but what do we do with compost? 

In all leased spaces, we are not permitted to have compost, due to logistical snags; therefore all compost has to be disposed of in your landfill bin, or collected and brought to a centralized bin in a main-campus building. 

Why are desk-side MiniMax bins unlined? 

This reduces the number of plastic bags in the waste stream and the expense of plastic liners. 

Why is the MiniMax landfill bin so small? 

The small landfill bin will typically suffice, because most office waste is able to be recycled. Common items that do belong in the landfill are wrappers and chip bags. 

Where do I empty my desk-side MiniMax bins? 

When your bins are full, empty them into centralized recycling and landfill (garbage) bins.