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Green Living Guide

“A BYU education ... prepares students ... to improve the moral, social, and ecological environment in which they and their families live.” To that end, this Green Guide answers the question, "How can I live sustainably at BYU?" Each student, faculty member, and staff member has an opportunity and responsibility to be stewards of our environment.

Recycling

On campus

BYU recycles cans, paper, plastic jugs, plastic bottles, cardboard, and paper-based food boxes.

  • Look for the blue bins around campus to recycle cans, paper, and plastic bottles. Use the specially marked dumpsters to recycle cardboard and paper-based food boxes. 
  • Flatten cardboard boxes, and remove all foam and plastic packaging. 
  • Empty beverage and food packaging. The cleaner and drier your recyclables, the better. 
  • Greasy pizza boxes are ok, but please remove food waste, condiment packets, and sauce cups. 
  • Do not put non-recyclables such as plastic bags and food waste in recycling bins. 
  • To request a bin in a new location, or to request service for a bin in an existing location, contact BYU Recycling at (801) 422-4662.
  • For more recycling guidelines, visit the BYU Recycling website. 

BYU also recycles household batteries. There is a collection tube next to the main circulation desk in the BYU Library, on the main floor.

BYU Recycling is always hiring! If you would like a meaningful job with great pay email recycling@byu.edu or call 801-422-4662.

Off campus

Provo City

Provo recycles cardboard, paper, paper-based food boxes, aluminum cans, steel cans, and plastic containers. Pricing, pickup times, and other details are available on the Sanitation Department’s website, but here are some general guidelines:

Private residences

For a monthly or yearly fee, weekly curbside recycling is offered for private residences. A discount is applied to regular garbage collection. Learn more.

Townhomes, condos, and apartment buildings

Other kinds of housing, such as townhomes, condos, and apartment buildings, may not offer recycling, but there are two free recycling drop-off locations in Provo: Kiwanis Park (820 N 1100 E) and the Compost Station (1625 S Industrial Pkwy). Learn more.

If recycling is not offered, ask your landlords to buy Provo recycling services and offer it to your complex.

A public collection point for glass recycling is located in the parking lot east of city hall. Glass containers should be rinsed and separated by color. Learn more.

Recyclops

A third-party subscription service, Recyclops, offers recycling pickups, including glass recycling, where they are not otherwise available. The company was started in 2014 by a BYU graduate. Learn more.

Glass Roots Recycling

Glass Roots Recycling offers curbside glass recycling pickup and a free glass drop-off location behind Guru’s Café on Center Street in Provo. The company was started by a BYU student in 2021.

Western Metals Recycling

Scrap metal, e-waste and end-of-life electronics can be recycled at Western Metals Recycling, located at 776 South Colorado Ave. Learn more.

Food waste

On campus

BYU students and staff may drop off food waste at the east entrance of the BYU Greenhouse, located at 100 East 820 North. This food waste is mixed with grass clippings and woodchips to produce mulch for BYU’s flowerbeds, tree rings, and hillsides.

  • Look for the lined plastic containers. Scan the QR code to record your drop-off.  
  • Please do not use plastic or paper bags unless they are certified biodegradable.  
  • Do not drop off meat and bones, dairy products, eggshells, fats, oils, or grease.  
  • Please remove non-food items such as stickers and packaging.  
  • Here’s a good rule of thumb: If a vegan can eat it, so can the bin! 

Off campus

Provo City

The Provo Compost Yard is open March through November on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m., weather permitting. Drop-off of material is limited to Provo residents who will need to come with either their driver license or a copy of a current Provo City utility bill. Learn more.

Transportation

Vehicle emissions directly affect the quality of the air we breathe in Utah Valley. Here’s how to lower your emissions on and around campus

Walking

It takes just 20 minutes to walk from one end of campus to the other—and there is easy access to grocery stores, restaurants, and more.

When walking in the dark, consider using the SafeWalk feature on the BYU app. (Search for and launch SafeWalk in the features bar.) Through this program, you can have a friendly BYU Security track your route to make sure you reach your destination safely.

Biking

Biking is a convenient and cost-effective way to travel. It can also help you reduce congestion and air pollution, improve physical fitness, and save money. A few tips:

  • Register your bike with BYU Security. Learn more. 
  • Park only in bicycle racks; bikes in other locations will be impounded.  
  • You may ride on the sidewalks of main campus except for the last ten minutes of every hour (class break) on Monday through Friday, or at other times when the sidewalks are crowded. 
  • Always lock your bike. U locks are better than cable locks. 

BYU Outdoors Unlimited

BYU Outdoors Unlimited offers a free repair bench and bike tools along with affordable bike services and rentals. They also sell bikes.

Provo Bicycle Collective

Affordable bikes and bike care can be accessed with our community partner Provo Bicycle Collective, located just south of campus at 397 E 200 N. Find more information about group rides, other events, and volunteering on its website.

Public Transit

The RYDE Shuttle Service

The RYDE Shuttle Service runs during fall and winter semesters, every 15 to 20 minutes on weekdays, between campus and several off-campus housing locations. Shuttle routes and schedules may be found on the Student Movement website or the BYU app under “Campus Shuttles.”

Utah Valley Express (UVX)

BYU students, employees, and their spouses may ride the UVX for free. The UVX line connects Provo and Orem in a 10.5 mile loop with 18 stops. For general trip planning, schedules, and maps, visit rideuta.com. You can also download the Transit app.

Electric Vehicles 

On campus

There are 10 charging stations in Lot 20 north of the BYU Broadcasting Building off of East University Parkway. Anyone with valid registered BYU parking privileges and a charging station pass can charge for up to 4 hours per vehicle per day. Learn more.

Off campus

There are several public charging stations throughout Provo City: the Library at Academy Square (550 N University Ave), Pioneer Park (500 W Center St), the Recreation Center (320 W 500 N), and elsewhere.

Dining

Vegetarian and vegan options can help you reduce your environmental impact through your daily diet.

  • Choices, a BYU restaurant concept in the Cougareat, offers plant-forward grain bowls with GMO-free, gluten-free, and preservative-free options.  
  • In the Cannon Center, BYU’s primary dining hall, entree stations are located along perimeter walls, while fruit and salad bars maintain a prominent, central position, serving as a hub. Veggie burgers are available upon request. Tofu and other meat alternatives are served regularly. 
  • For more healthy dining options, open the mobile dining widget of the BYU app and filter for vegan/vegetarian meals offered on campus. (In the app, select the restaurant you want to learn more about and select the filter feature in the top right-hand corner to refine options based on vegetarian, vegan or allergens. For ingredients and nutrition facts, click “Nutrition Info.” Select the date and meal if applicable.)  
  • Outside of the BYU app, menu information for the Cannon Center is also available here.  
  • Information for the Cougareat, Legends Grille, Skyroom, and Creamery is available here.  

Reduce single-use plastics

While plastic bottles and jugs can be recycled, other single-use plastics can’t.

  • Bring a reusable spork or utensil kit.  
  • Say no to plastic straws. 
  • Say no to plastic bags.  
  • Bring your own reusable water bottle. 

Our education starts with our actions, and we can learn how to improve the ecological environment of our campus community through daily stewardship. Do you have any sustainability tips and tricks to add to this Green Guide? Email us at sustainability@byu.edu.