The University of Washington accepts hard plastics. Contact UW Recycling for more information about recycling hard plastics on campus.

What are Hard Plastics?

Hard Plastics are defined as standard #1-7 plastics with the emphasis being on hard, rigid plastic materials that cannot be recycled in the standard UW Mixed Containers recycling stream. The predominant hard rigid plastics usually fall in the category of #1, 2, 3, 5, and 6 plastics. Definitions and examples of these types of plastics include:

  • #1 PET Polyethylene includes non-food related hard plastic containers
  • #2 HDPE High Density Polyethylene includes plastic pipes, plastic lumber, buckets, and plastic crates
  • #3 PVC or polyvinyl chloride includes PVC piping, cassette trays, and plastic CD cases
  • #5 Polypropylene includes prescription bottles, oil funnels, and other hard rigid plastic casing
  • #6 Polystyrene includes license plate frames and light switch plates

Hard plastics do not include:

Plastic beverage containers such as water bottles, detergent bottles (such as laundry or shampoo) and or plastic food containers such as yogurt containers or ketchup bottles. These materials are all accepted in the standard UW Mixed Containers recycling stream.

#6 Styrofoam. Styrofoam is recycled through a Styrofoam recycling program.

#4 LDPE (low density polyethylene) such as plastic film, bags or shrink wrap. This material is recycled through UW’s plastic film recycling program. Plastic Film toters are located on most loading docks around campus.