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MSU Recycling is a student-funded program of the Associated Students of Montana State University (ASMSU) that is made possible with additional support from MSU Administration.  It was created in 2008 by student leaders responding to the need for an integrated recycling program at MSU and the desire to reduce the University’s environmental footprint.

Recycling is available in all of MSU's residence halls and Family Grad Housing if room is available.  A plethora of recycling stations are also located in academic and administrative buildings across campus.

Since the recycling program began, MSU has diverted nearly 7,453,463 lbs. of material from our local landfill.

What We Do and Don't RecycleMSU Recyling Signage. Paper sign describing how you can recycle office paper, newspaper, and magazines/catalogs.

A series of posters describing what can and cannot be recycled at Montana State University.


Type Recyclable Non-Recyclable
Plastic #1 & #2 plastic, clear plastic cups, plastic bottles. Utensils, film plastics (e.g. plastic bags), paper cups, styrofoam.
Metal Cans Aluminum, steel. Foil, liquids.
Cardboard Cardboard, paperboard (e.g. cereal boxes), brown paper *break down all boxes and remove Styrofoam/packing pillows before recycling*
Paper Office paper, newspaper, magazines & catalogs. Cardboard, neon paper paper cups, paperboard. 
Landfill Film plastic may be recyclable at local stores (e.g. Safeway, Target, Albertsons, Lowes, etc.) and glass is recyclable at We Recycle Montana Paper cups, glass, food, film plastic, styrofoam. 
Batteries Batteries are recyclable at the Office of Sustainability, SUB 284. *do not throw batteries in the trash if you can help it*
E-Waste E-waste with Safety Risk and Management recycles batteries, light bulbs, electronics, computers, printer cartridges and printers for MSU employees. Please contact Shay at 994-5678 or [email protected].  

Collection Stations

Recycling Stations

Cans, Plastic, Paper and Cardboard are collected by student employees on a weekly basis from recycling stations located in most campus buildings and residence halls. The pick-up schedule generally changes each semester to accommodate student employee class schedules. 

Recycling Dumpsters

Several large, well-marked dumpsters for Office Paper and Cardboard are provided for "self serve" use in convenient outdoor locations around campus. MSU Office of Sustainability owns these receptacles and uses the their own cardboard truck to service them. Cardboard is picked up multiple times per week, office paper is picked up about once every 3 weeks.

Paper Shredding

Need to shred paper? There is not a place on campus to shred large amounts of paper, but Tear It Up LLC and Document Destroyers are local companies that can do that for you. If you shred your own paper, please bag it (preferably with a clear bag).


The MSU Office of Sustainability is happy to provide recycling bins at any event, helping to make it a Green Event. Please email [email protected] a week prior to the event for a Green Event Form, and after it's filled out, just email it back. 

Football Games 

The Office of Sustainability has partnered with Bobcat Athletics and the City of Bozeman since 2013 to provide recycling at home football games. Single stream bins are placed throughout the tailgate areas/stadium and recycling is collected from the bleachers after each game. The City of Bozeman Solid Waste Division provides over 100 recycling bins and the servicing of those bins throughout the season. To date over 95,549 pounds of material has been recycled from home football games.

Dining Halls

Recycling and Food Waste is collected from the dining halls and food service operations on campus.

Special Pick-ups

If you are planning an office clean-out or have other large volume recycling needs, please use the nearest recycling dumpster or contact our office to arrange an extra pick up. Please do not use the indoor recycling stations for large volume deposits, as this may lead to an overflow between scheduled pickups.


The MSU Office of Sustainability is now collecting used batteries to be recycled. Bring your batteries to the room 284 in the Strand Union Building. Batteries can also be recycled in some businesses around town.  

E-Waste (including light bulbs)

Don't throw out your old electronics! Campus E-Scrap will collect light bulbs, computers, printers, and other e-waste.  Call (406) 994-5678 or fill out the e-scrap collection form.



To date, 1,221,584 lbs of MSU's food waste has been diverted from our local landfill.

MSU began its composting pilot program in January of 2015, collecting pre-consumer food waste from Miller Dining Commons. In 2017 MSU expanded its composting program to include coffee grounds from several coffee shops on campus, including the SRO and Brewed Awakening, as well as post-consumer waste from Miller Dining Commons. In summer 2018, the MSU composting program partnered with the City of Bozeman Solid Waste Division to collect MSU's food waste, grind it with wood chips, and compost it using the aerated Ag Bag compost system. In 2019, the City composted over 500,000 lbs of MSU's food waste and used the finished product within Bozeman's parks.

The University composting program now collects food waste from every food service location on campus in addition to post-consumer waste from Miller Dinning Commons and Rendezvous Dining Pavilion.  MSU's 2019 First Meal, our welcome event for incoming freshman and their loved ones, was a nearly zero waste event with 98% of the waste recycled or composted.  In Fiscal Year 2019, MSU's total diversion rate was 32.18% (32% of our waste was diverted from the local landfill).

For more information on the MSU composting program, contact our Recycling/Composting Coordinator Logun Norris at [email protected] or (406) 994-6871.

Move-in Move-out Furniture Sale

Started as a student class project in Spring 2019, MSU accepts and stores donated furniture after spring move-out and makes it available for purchase the following spring. This reducesthe functional furniture being sent to the landfill and provides students with affordable furniture options. Learn more about the Move-in Move out Furniture Sale.

Rentable Dorm Furniture

In order to reduce the huge quantities of lumber and appliances being thrown out at the end of each semester, MSU invest in lofted beds for every dorm room and rentable appliances.  Rather than buying or building your bed loft,  mini-fridge, and microwave, rent them from MSU Residence Life so that they can be refurbished and reused for the next student. Learn more about the rentable dorm furniture.

Off-Campus Furniture Disposal

If you are moving out of off-campus housing, make an effort to sell or donate your used furniture.  Some used furniture stores will even pick up your items, saving you the hassle of transporting them around town.  Check out the following resale or donation options:


If you are unable to sell or donate your furniture, do not dump it on the curb.  Contact the City of Bozeman for a Bulky Item Pickup.