Recycle / Waste Management
Michigan Medicine

In 2009, 4.5 million pounds of trash were diverted from the landfill and recycled. In 2010, Michigan Medicine continued this trend by recycling 1,846 tons—more than 25 percent of its total waste stream.

Total waste from Michigan Medicine in 2010 decreased by 106.65 tons or 321,300 pounds from the previous year.

How you can help:

Watch this video to learn how you can be an environmental steward at Michigan Medicine by recycling!

Beverage Container Recycling Program

In 2011, UMHHC began providing more recycling receptacles and accepting more recycled items on the Medical Campus for personal beverage containers.

For Phase 1 of the rollout, recycling bins are located in lobbies, corridors and public areas at the Cardiovascular Center, University Hospital, Cancer Center, Taubman Health Center, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Med Inn Building.

Acceptable items at these locations include aluminum cans, glass bottles and # 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7 plastic bottles. For a full list of recyclable items, as well as items that cannot be recycled, view the flier.

Empty containers before placing items in recycling bins. If able, please rinse containers to minimize pest management and odor issues. Do not place plastic or paper bags of acceptable items in bins. The plastic bags cannot be recycled.

These efforts are meant to complement, not replace other departmental programs and fundraisers for collecting beverage deposit containers.

Employees are encouraged to identify additional recycling opportunities each year, as more departments continue to initiate self-run, onsite recycling programs.

Working together, the Health System community can help reduce items entering the waste stream, and reuse and recycle when appropriate.

Battery Recycling Program

Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel, which can contaminate the environment when disposed of improperly.  Recycling batteries keeps heavy metals out of landfills, the air and water.  By recovering plastics and metals from recycling, we conserve resources and can make new batteries.

Battery Recycling at the Hospitals and Health Centers

  • Batteries should be collected in a plastic container with solid sides and bottom.  Do not use a metal container.
  • The container must be labeled as “Universal Waste – Batteries”.
  • Place the pail in an area convenient to staff but not accessible to patients. Most units use their soiled holding, production or break room.
  • Batteries may be collected for up to one year. The container must be labeled and dated when the first battery is placed inside.

Accepted Items:
All battery sizes and types are accepted for collection in the battery recycling program. The most common battery types are AAA, AA, C, D, 9-volt, button, photo-electronics, lantern and nickel-cadmium (Ni-Cad) and Lithium ion.

Process by Location
Main Medical Campus: Cancer Center, CVC, Holden, MCHC, Med Inn, Medical Professional Building,  Mott, North Ingalls, Taubman Health Center, Women’s, and University Hospital
Units can page Dave Tyler from the Facilities Services’ Waste/Utilities group at 9505 to request a FREE specially marked plastic battery collection pail. If you are using your own container, you may obtain a label from either Dave Tyler or Safety Management Services (734) 764-4427.

When the pail is 2/3 to 3/4 full, contact Environmental Services at (734) 936-5167 to request collection. Pick up may also be requested through the Support Services link. Replacement pails will be delivered at the time the old pail is removed.

Off-Site Collection & Pick Up
Off-sites may purchase pails from OSEH Hazardous Materials Management Program by calling 763-4568 or the department may collect batteries in a container that is rigid enough to support the weight of the batteries. Examples include clean plastic milk jugs and sturdy boxes. Avoid using metal containers.

Labels may be obtained from Safety Management Services (734) 764-4427or the department may make their own labels that say "Universal Waste - Batteries" along with the collection start date.

In all locations except for the Kellogg Eye Center, full containers must be picked up by OSEH Hazardous Materials Management Program.  Please call (734) 763-4568 to schedule a pick up.  At the Kellogg Eye Center, battery pails are emptied by a request to the units’ assigned Environmental Services custodian.  These batteries are then collected into a larger bucket at the loading dock which is overseen by the building manager and picked up by OSEH.

Cell Phone Recycling Program

Michigan Medicine and Military Support Programs and Networks (M-SPAN) have partnered to send used devices to Cell Phones for Soldiers – a non-profit that helps soldiers deployed overseas stay connected with their families here at home.

Cell Phones for Soldiers turns old or broken cell phones into prepaid calling cards for U.S. troops stationed overseas by selling them to Mindful eCycling. Approximately half of the phones processed are reconditioned and resold to wholesale companies in more than 40 countries around the world. Phones and components that cannot be refurbished are dismantled and recycled to reclaim materials.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), of the 2.25 million tons of TVs, cell phones and computer products that can be recycled, only 18 percent is collected for recycling and 82 percent is disposed of, primarily in landfills.

Recycling cell phones helps the environment by saving energy and keeping usable materials out of landfills. Cell phones and their accessories are made of precious metals, copper and plastics – all of which require energy to mine and manufacture. Recycling conserves these materials and turns them into new products and also prevents air and water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.

While mobile phones are just a portion of that e-waste, it is an easy way we can all play a part in addressing this concern.

Things to remember before recycling your phone:

1. Preserve the contacts, photos, texts or other data you want to keep
2. Terminate your devices wireless service by contacting your provider
3. Clear the phone’s memory of stored information.
4. If your phone has a SIM card, don’t forget to remove it.

Phones can be donated by sending them via campus mail to:

Attn: Jamie Majer
Michigan Medicine
2025 Traverwood Dr, Suite C, Room 1124
Ann Arbor, MI, 48105

For more recycling opportunities at Michigan Medicine, visit

Any recycling inquiries can be directed to:
Mindful eCycling
(866) 716-2220

Recycle Write! program - Recycle pens, mechanical pencils and markers at UMH

On October 19th, the Waste Reduction & Recycling Office was notified by TerraCycle of a change to the writing utensil recycling program (Recycle Write!). Beginning December 1st, 2016, TerraCycle will no longer provide pre-paid UPS labels for items to be sent to them. Additionally, they are ceasing to provide the associated donation to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital.  However, thanks to everyone's past efforts, this program was able to raise over $2,800 for C.S. Mott Children's Hospital. Fortunately, the Office of Campus Sustainability is committed to continuing the program, with a few changes noted below of items that are no longer being accepted.

Recycle Your Pens, Mechanical Pencils and Markers!

RecycleWrite! allows Michigan Medicine employees, U-M students, faculty and staff to dispose of pens, mechanical pencils and markers in an environmentally-responsible way.

What Can You Recycle Through the RecycleWrite Program?

  • Pens
  • Mechanical Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Markers
  • Correction Tape (no fluids)
  • Packaging (not cellophane)

Unacceptable items include:

  • Pens with lights or electronic functioning
  • Penlights and Laser Pointers
  • Crayons
  • Wooden pencils and colored pencils
  • Erasers

How Should You Recycle Them?

Please send them through campus mail to:
Recycle Write!
Plant Building & Grounds Services
109 E. Madison
Campus zip: 2993

RecycleWrite signage can be found here.

How Are They Recycled?

All items will be recycled through Terracycle’s Pens, Pencils and Markers Zero Waste Box Program. The collected waste is mechanically and/or manually separated into metals, fibers, and plastics. Metals are smelted so they may be recycled. The plastics undergo extrusion and pelletization to be molded into new recycled plastic products. (note that all brands of writing instruments are acceptable through this program).