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Oklahoma State University

Recycling Overview

Check out this video to see how and why to recycle in the OSU Recycles (non-residential) campus program.

Take a look below to find out how to properly recycle different materials on campus, in resident halls, and off campus! How and what to recycle depends on your location, location, location!

For more information about properly recycling specific types of items on and off campus, please read over the tabs below: 

Plastics can be tricky and identifying what type of plastic it is can be even tricker!

First off, grab that piece of plastic you are about to recycle and look it over to find the Plastic Identification Code (PIC), the number inside the recycle symbol.

The OSU Recycles program does not accept plastics for recycling other than #1 & #2 bottles. 

The City of Stillwater takes #1, #2, and #5 bottles, jugs, and tubs in their single stream curbside recycling program and at the Convenience Collection Center on Perkins Road. 

The ResLife Recycles program also accepts #1, #2 and #5 bottles, jugs, and tubs. 

Plastics #3, #4, #6 and #7 are no longer accepted in our region. 

Note: If a plastic is labeled as compostable, it cannot be recycled in our region. If it is plastic pipe (such as, but not necessarily PVC), it cannot be recycled in our region.

The 7 Types of Plastic.

#1 PET or PETE (Polyethylene Terephthalate):

  • The is one of the most used plastics. 
  • It's lightweight, strong, typically transparent and is often used in food packaging and fabrics (polyester). 
  • Examples:
    • Beverage bottles
    • Food bottles/jars (salad dressing, peanut butter, honey, etc.)
    • Polyester clothing
    • Rope

#2 HDPE (High Density Polyethylene):

  • Collectively, polyethylene is the most common plastics in the world, but it's classified into three types: high density, low density, and linear low-density. 
  • High density is strong and resistant to moisture and chemicals, which makes it ideal for cartons, containers, pipes, and other building materials. 
  • Examples:
    • Milk cartons
    • Detergent bottles
    • Cereal box liners
    • Toys
    • Buckets
    • Park benches
    • Rigid pipes

#3 PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride or Vinyl):

  • This is a hard and rigid plastic that is resistant to chemicals and weathering, making it desired for building and construction applications
    • While the fact that it doesn't conduct electricity makes it common for high-tech applications, such as wires and cable. 
    • It's also widely used in medical applications because it's impermeable to germs, is easily disinfected and provides single-use applications that reduce infections in healthcare. 
  • On the flip side, PVC is the most dangerous plastic to human health, known to leach dangerous toxins throughout its entire lifecycle (e.g. lead, dioxins, vinyl chloride)
  • Examples:
    • Plumbing pipes
    • Credit cards
    • Human and pet toys
    • Rain gutters
    • Teething rings
    • IV fluid bags
    • Medical tubing
    • Oxygen masks

#4 LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene)

  • A softer, clear, and more flexible version of HDPE. 
  • It's often used as a liner inside beverage cartons, and in corrosion-resistant work surfaces and other products. 
  • Examples: 
    • Plastic/cling wrap
    • Sandwich and bread bags
    • Bubble wrap
    • Garbage bags
    • Grocery bags
    • Beverage cups

#5 PP (Polypropylene)

  • One of the most durable types of plastic. 
  • It is more heat resistant than some others, which makes it ideal for such things as food packaging and food storage that's made to hold hot items or be heated itself. 
  • It's flexible enough to allow for mild bending, but it retains its shape and strength for a long time. 
  • Examples: 
    • Straws
    • Bottle caps
    • Prescription bottles
    • Hot food containers
    • Packaging tape
    • Disposable diapers
    • DVD/CD boxes

#6 PS or Styrofoam (Polystyrene)

  • Best known as Styrofoam 
  • This rigid plastic is low-cost and insulates very well, which has made it a staple in the food, packaging, and construction industries. 
  • Considered to be a dangerous plastic 
    • It can easily leach harmful toxins such as styrene (a neurotoxin), which can easily then be absorbed by food and thus ingested by humans.
  • Examples:
    • Cups
    • Takeout food containers
    • Shipping and product packaging
    • Egg cartons
    • Cutlery
    • Building insulation

#7 Other

  • This category is a catch-all for other types of plastic that don't belong in any of the other six categories or are combination of multiple types. 
  • Examples: 
    • Eyeglasses
    • Baby and sports bottles
    • Electronics
    • CD/DVDs
    • Lighting fixtures
    • Clear plastic cutlery


Habitat for Humanity ReStore
505 East 18th Avenue Stillwater, OK 74074
Hours: Tuesday, Thursday & Friday 9am-5pm & Saturday 9am-1pm

City of Stillwater Convenience Collection Center
807 South Perkins Road Stillwater, OK 74074
Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10am-6pm & Saturday 8am-4pm