Campus News

UK Celebrates America Recycles Day With the #BringontheBoxes Campaign

Everyone is encouraged to pledge to recycle both on and off campus and think about why they should recycle.
Everyone is encouraged to pledge to recycle both on and off campus and think about why they should recycle.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 4, 2019) — For the fifth year in a row the University of Kentucky will be celebrating America Recycles Day, during the month of November. This national program, operated and managed since 1997 by Keep America Beautiful, helps to end littering, improve recycling and beautify communities.

This year UK Recycling will be introducing the #BringontheBoxes campaign, bringing a targeted focus on recycling cardboard. UK Recycling hopes the campaign will raise awareness of campus cardboard waste, empower students and staff to recycle correctly and contribute to UK’s goal of increasing our waste diversion rate to 50% by 2022 — a core component of UK’s Sustainability Strategic Plan. Currently 5.6% of what UK sends to the landfill is still cardboard, which amounts to 575 tons or 1,150,000 pounds of cardboard.

Cardboard that can be recycled includes:

  • cardboard packing boxes;
  • cardboard tubes;
  • boxes with grey or brown interior; and
  • empty pizza boxes, as well as empty cereal and cracker boxes or any box that does not have plastic coating.

Boxes with a white interior, Styrofoam, and frozen food or drink boxes cannot be recycled

This month is full of opportunities for students, faculty and staff. UK Recycling will be tabling throughout campus all month long, so look for the recycling flags and tables. At the tablings you can sign a recycling pledge and learn more about what UK recycles. Everyone is encouraged to pledge to recycle both on and off campus and think about why they should recycle. Anyone who takes the pledge will receive a free recycling sticker and be entered for the chance to win other prizes. If you cannot make it out to one of the tabling events, you can always sign the pledge online here.

In addition to the tabling opportunities, UK Recycling will host Lunch & Learns where prizes will be given out. The schedule is as follows:

  • 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, The Food Connection at The 90;
  • 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6, Gatton Student Center 330D;
  • noon Monday, Nov. 18, The Food Connection at The 90; and
  • 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, Gatton Student Center 330D.

“There are always questions about what is recyclable on campus. We want to provide opportunities to talk with students, faculty and staff about what is recyclable,” says Joanna Ashford, UK Recycling coordinator.

Many items in staff and department’s offices can also be recycled that you may not realize — such as batteries, CDs and DVDs, hardbound books and more. For a complete list and details about how to recycle these items, visit

For more information about how to give objects a second life or to participate in this month’s events, contact

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.