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Recycling Initiative

Changes to Recycling at the Indiana Government Center

IDEM and IDOA have to update the Indiana Government Center’s recycling program. There are now “one-stop-shop” waste stations throughout the campus where all trash and recycling can go, along with new sorting guidelines to make recycling simpler. This page will be updated with more information as further sustainable practices are implemented through IGC.

You will notice that some of the older recycling bins remain in place. This is an effort to be sustainable through reuse and make good use of resources that are already available. The light blue bins that are used for office paper will remain in place, especially in printer/copier areas. The large blue totes will still be available in high volume areas such as cafeterias.

To help facilitate the recycling initiative, Green Leads from each agency are requested. Green Leads will act as a point of contact for recycling questions on their floor, as well as assisting in organizing events such as inter-office recycling competitions and tours of recycling facilities. If you are interested in becoming a Green Lead, please email

Current Recycling Guidelines:

Blue bins, labeled “Mixed Recycling” & dark blue totes labeled “beverage containers”

  • Glass (Empty clear, green and brown glass containers)
  • Steel
  • Aluminum
  • Clean plastic food and beverage containers
  • Newspapers
  • Dark colored paper
  • Magazines
  • Slick Paper (Newspaper inserts/advertisements)
  • Paperboard (Single layer paperboard: Cereal, Cracker, Prepared Food Boxes, Fed-Ex Envelopes)

Green bins, labeled “Office Paper” & light blue bins

  • All white office paper
  • Envelopes with Plastic Windows (remove plastic when possible)
  • Loose leaf Paper
  • Post-it® Notes
  • Manila File Folders

Black bins labeled “Trash”

  • Plastic bags and other plastic film
  • Containers soiled by food or other contaminants
  • Dirty tissues, napkins, and paper towels
  • Food waste
  • Styrofoam
  • Small plastic items such as plastic straws, utensil, and K-Cups


Corrugated cardboard should be stacked in the freight elevator areas. All cardboard boxes should be broken down, with the exception of ream wrapper boxes which will be reused.

Bound Books:

Bound books should be stacked in the freight elevator area. Books do not belong in the paper recycling bins.

Floppy Discs, Compact Discs (CDs), and Batteries:

These items were previously collected in the large wooden bins on the first floor of each Indiana Government Center building lobby. This collection method is no longer efficient, and instead recycling drives for these and other less commonly recycled items will be held on a biannual basis. Look for the first recycling drive in November 2019.

Cafeteria Recycling Guidelines:

The majority of food packaging materials used in the cafeteria are recyclable. Paper and plastic clamshells used for taking out food are recyclable, as are all paper beverage cups. Foam cups are not recyclable. Straws, beverage cup lids, and other small plastic items such as dressing containers and creamer cups are not recyclable due to their size. It is important to note that recycled materials should not be soiled by food. Please scrape out your containers into the trash before recycling them. Please be aware that paper clamshells will frequently have absorbed too much liquid or grease to be recyclable.

Common recycling tips:

Anything smaller than a credit card should not be recycled, no matter the material. Small items will not make it through the sorting process at the materials recovery facility.

Plastic bags and other plastic film should not be placed in the recycling bins. These items are termed “tanglers” because they jam up recycling machinery and cause operations to shut down. If you can poke a finger through the plastic, it should not go in the recycling bins.

Plastic bottle caps do not need to be removed from the bottle and thrown out. Please leave them secured to the bottle.

Containers should not have any more than a teaspoon of liquid remaining in them when recycled.

One change you may have noticed already in place is the clear liner bags in recycling bins, whereas trash bins use black bags. These are helpful for both our cleaning staff and IGC’s waste hauler’s sorting facility to identify recyclable materials from trash.

Common contaminants:

These items are frequently found in recycling bins, but don’t belong.

  • Tissues
  • Soiled napkins and paper towels
  • Chip bags and other snack wrappers
  • Plastic bags

Questions, comments, or concerns about recycling at IGC?

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