CU Green Labs diverts the following hard-to-recycle materials from the landfill in research labs across campus:

On this page:

*Poster images link to PDF files

Lab Brown Glass

Brown Glass Recycling Rules and GuidelinesIt is very important that labs follow the rules on the signage at right to recycle brown glass so we ensure we are able to keep this recycling opportunity! Click on the yellow sign for further details. The rules are similar to those for the lab metal container recycling. Do not place lab brown glass in regular container recycling recepticals around campus. They are a contaminant. 

Lab brown glass collection containers located at:

  • Cristol Chemistry (toters located in basement)
  • Jennie Smoly Caruthers Biotechnology Building (toters at caged loading dock)
  • LASP (toter on loading dock)
  • Satellite collection areas at:
    • SEEC loading dock
    • MCDB Stores in the Gold Building​
    • JILA loading dock

Where does it go?

→ Our lab brown glass is recycled by a local company Momentum Recycling and processed primarily into new glass bottles.


Lab Paper Towel Composting

Lab paper towel composting is now available in any building on campus that has composting in the building restrooms. The program includes any paper towels that would normally go into the trash, but not paper towels that are contaminated with hazardous chemicals, radioactivity, or biohazardous materials which need to be properly disposed of as hazardous waste.

lab paper towel composting containerCU Green Labs can distribute 6 gallon collection containers free of charge to labs interested in participating. Lab members are responsible for emptying their lab's paper towels in their building's bathroom/restroom compost collection when their collection container is full. Custodial staff does not empty paper towel compost bins inside labs.

Paper towel composting currently available in: 

  • All Campus buildings

Where does it go? Lab Compost Half Sheet image

→ Compost from CU Boulder is hauled to A1 Organics in Keenesburg, CO 




#6 White Block Foam

#6 White Block Foam Instructions for RecyclingOnly #6 expanded polystyrene (EPS) can be recycled through CU Green Labs. To test whether yours is the correct kind of foam, try pulling a few beads off the foam with your finger. If you can and the foam is white (not black, not grey), then you can recycle it. If you can't peel beads off with your finger, it is a different kind of plastic foam and must be put in the landfill dumpsters at this time. Please remove all tape and labels from foam before placing it in the recycling carts.

White block foam collection carts are available at:

  • Gold/Porter building junction in NE corner, on the basement "B" level
  • Muenzinger lobby just off Colorado Ave
  • Muenzinger D00 level right outside elevatorPicture of piled up white block foam
  • Ramaley 1st floor, east side of building near the teaching labs
  • Cristol near Chem stores
  • JILA 2nd floor main hallway
  • JILA basement in the X wing
  • RL4 on East Campus
  • Wilderness Place near the loading dock on 1st floor
  • JSCBB on each floor of the building
  • SEEC/MacAllister loading dock (C184)
  • SEEL in the Recycling Rooms on 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors (Rooms 196, 289, 389)
  • USGS (RL6) near loading dock

Where does it go? 

→ From Eco-Cycle it becomes interior paint-grade architectural molding, such as baseboard.

#5 PP Pipette Tip Boxespipette tip box recycling gradesheet

Pipette tip box collection containers available at:

  • Gold (floors 1-4 on north side by Gold/Porter intersection)
  • Outside the Gold/Muenzinger buildings along Colorado Avenue, in the caged recycling area
  • Ramaley 1st floor near the foam recycling
  • Cristol Chemistry 2nd floor
  • CIRES 2nd floor near the Fierer Lab
  • JSCBB on all floors
  • RL4 outside on the dock
  • SEEL in the Recycling Rooms on 2nd and 3rd floors

Where does it go? 

→ From Eco-Cycle it is pelletized locally to be sold as recycled polypropylene on the open market.

  Pipette tip boxes in a binpipette tips in toters picturenot allowed in pipette tip box recycling  

#4 LDPE & #2 HDPE Plastic Bags and Film

Plastic Film Recycling SignPlastic film collection containers located at:

  • Gold (near A212, near A412, & outside MCDB Stores)
  • Porter (by the elevators on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th floors)
  • JILA (in the basement under the spiral staircase)
  • Carlson (outside room 111)
  • Ramaley (at the foam recycling location on the 1st floor, also outside N368)
  • Muenzinger (near foam recycling in the lobby on the 1st floor, outside D244A, on the D0 level near the elevator)
  • Cristol (basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, 3rd floor, and inside ChemStores)
  • Ekeley (in the 3rd floor M wing by M366)
  • CIRES (outside E256)
  • Benson (3rd floor and end of hallway by room 325/stairwell)
  • RL4 (outside on dock)
  • RL6/USGS (near loading dock)
  • JSCBB (on every floor in almost every lab hallway (A, B, C, and D wings, all floors)
  • SEEC (at loading dock, C184)
  • SEEL (in Recycling Rooms on all 3 floors)

Where does it go?

→ From Eco-Cycle it becomes filler for composite decking.

  Plastic film blue container  Image of plastic film

Metal Lab Container RecyclingMetal Lab Container Recycling

Lab metal recycling containers can be found at:

  • JSCBB caged loading dock (basement)
  • Cristol Chemistry in the basement
  • SEEC loading dock, in outside dumpster for scrap metal
  • SEEL Recycling Room on 1st floor (Rm 196)

Where does it go?

→ It is sent to a large metal recycling yard in Englewood, CO where it is ground up and separated from non-metal materials, then it is sent to a refiner, and lastly a smelter.

metal containers in pile






EH&S recycles the following materials:Plexiglass picture

Plexiglass shields:

The Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) radiation team collects plexiglass shields for labs to reuse for radioactive work.




Batteries pictureBatteries:

EH&S has collections for batteries in various locations on campus. For information on locations and protocol, you can visit the EH&S website.





EH&S stores carboys for reuse in the Cristol Chem Stores. 

 before purchasing a new carboy  Carboy re-usePicture of carboys in a pile