Recycling FAQs

Where can I go to find surplus furniture and equipment?
The University Swap Shop is a reuse centre that receives surplus, obsolete or unwanted items from University departments for free distribution. The centre is open to all U of T staff, students and faculty. Univerity I.D. is mandatory.
The Swap Shop is located in the basement of 487 Spadina Avenue, and is open September to May on Wednesdays from 12:00 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. Click here for exact dates.


Where do I go to recycle batteries?
There are several locations at U of T for battery recycling. Click here, for a list of locations. Look for the beige, dome-topped containers or orange toter.

If you have large / irregular batteries or a large amount, please contact Environmental Protection Services at 946-3473.

Can I recycle toner cartridges?
Yes. We accept all laser and inkjet cartridges. Departments can call the Recycling Department at 416-946-5711 for a pick up. They may also be drop off at the Swap Shop, 487 Spadina Ave. during regular operating hours. Please do not send cartridges through Campus mail.

Keep and check your cartridge’s original packaging as many come with return labels that allow you to mail empties back to the manufacturer.

What do I do with styrofoam?
All types of polystyrene a.k.a. Styrofoam, can be recycled. Look for the logo below on items.

Recycling Logo

Packaging used in shipping items and for computers & equipment should be placed in clear bags and placed in your garbage / recycling area for collection by the caretaking staff. They will take it to a centralized location for pick up by the Recycling staff.

Please note that any soft foam packaging labeled other than “6” should not be mixed with polystyrene. This can be bagged separately and recycled as plastic. Please call the Recycling office (416-946-5711) for a pick up.


Polystyrene food packaging e.g. cups & clamshells – both clear plastic and opaque, can be recycled with other recyclable food and beverage containers. Please EMPTY any food from containers into green bins or garbage if unavailable.

Can I compost on campus?
Most cafeterias on campus are set up with green bins for organic waste. Please do not put garbage, polystyrene or other forms of plastic into the green bin.

  • Bahen Centre
  • Gerstein Library
  • Innis College
  • Koffler Multi-Faith Centre
  • Koffler Student Centre
  • Medical Sciences
  • O.I.S.E
  • Robarts
  • Rotman
  • Sidney Smith
  • Sylvester’s Cafe at Graduate Student Union
  • Woodsworth College


How do I recycle confidential papers?
The U of T Recycling Office cannot guarantee the confidentiality of any document disposed of through our program. To ensure confidentiality, you should shred the document yourself or hire a shredding company.

Can I recycle my items from home on campus?
Our programs are intended to only deal with the waste that is produced on campus.
The City of Toronto has many programs in place to handle waste you produce at home. You can find out more on the City’s web site here.

I have other questions. Who do I ask?
If you have any other question or would like more information about any of our programs and service, you can contact Reno Strano, Waste Management Supervisor and Recycling Co-Ordinator:

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