Effective January 1st, 2020, UW Recycling accepts plastic film through a separated self-service recycling program. It can no longer be included in mixed recycling containers in Seattle. Please note custodians are not responsible for transporting these materials to the collection containers. 

What is acceptable

  • Air pillows (deflated)
  • Bubble wrap
  • Grocery bags 
  • Shrink wrap
  • Ziploc bags (clean, dry)
  • #4 LDPE plastic film

How to tell if you can recycle your plastic film

  • The film can be easily be stretched with a thumb
  • The film is clean and dry

What is not acceptable


  1. All film must be clean, dry and collected separately from other recycling.
  • Use your own clear bags to gather the recyclable film


    Plastic film, bagged for recycling

    Plastic film, bagged for recycling

  • Use a free self-service box to collect plastic film; or 

    Self-Service Plastic Film Bin

    Self-Service Plastic Film Bin

    Self-service plastic film bin

  • If you work in a location that generates a large amount of film, such as a shipping center, contact recycle@uw.edu.
  1. Transport plastic film to the collection site:
  • Either take plastic film to the nearest plastic film container at the following loading docks/service areas: 
    • Allen Center for CSE
    • Allen Library
    • Architecture Hall
    • Art Building
    • Atmospheric Sciences / MolES
    • Bagley Hall
    • CHDD
    • Chemistry Library
    • Dempsey Hall
    • Engineering Services
    • Environmental Safety Storage Building
    • Fluke Hall
    • Foege Dock
    • Gould Hall
    • Hall Health
    • Health Sciences AA, D, G, and J/K docks 
    • HUB
    • IMA
    • Mary Gates Hall
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • More / Roberts / Wilcox Hall
    • Nuclear Physics / North Physics Lab
    • Odegaard Undergraduate Library
    • Padelford
    • Physics / Astronomy Building
    • Plant Services – Surplus
    • Plant Services - Stores
    • Portage Bay Building
    • Publication Services
    • Savery Hall
    • UW Tower
    • Wallace Hall
    • Winkenwerder
  • Or if the plastic film container locations above are not accessible to your department:
    • Place the bags next to the recycling containers at building’s loading dock or service area. Do not block doors or walkways.
    • After bags have been placed, email recycle@uw.edu. Materials will be collected during the next regularly scheduled stop at your building.