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Moove-In: Cardboard & Polystyrene Recycle Stations

Move-in Residence Halls Recycle Stations

During move-in, please take all cardboard and polystyrene to the nearest recycle station. This ensures that the abundance of cardboard and polystyrene that is brought to campus during move-in can be recycled.


To find the nearest cardboard and polystyrene recycle station, select the move-in map for your residence hall.

Please do not put cardboard down the trash/recycling chutes. Cardboard expands and can clog the chute.

Tips for a Sustainable Move-in

  • Remove packaging at home to reduce the waste you'll have to manage and save time while unpacking
  • Pack items in reusable containers or bags; this will reduce waste, and can be used to store seasonal or infrequently used items, or as packing containers when you move out at the end of the year
  • Coordinate with your roommates to reduce the amount of electronics (microwave, mini-fridge, printer, etc.) in your room
  • What to bring to for a sustainable stay:
    • Consider buying used items
    • Reusable beverage container to use at water refill stations for filtered water
    • Set of reusable utensils and plates
    • Reusable coffee mug
    • Reusable cloth hand towel (note- not all residence halls have paper towels in the restrooms)
    • Reusable shopping bag
    • Smart power strip
    • Energy Star rated and EPEAT appliances

Our Impact

Since 2009, Student Housing and Dining Services has diverted over 143,000 pounds of cardboard and 5,400 pounds of Polystyrene from the landfill through our move-in recycling drive.

What is polystyrene?

Polystyrene is more commonly known as Styrofoam, which is the trademark name of Dow Chemical Company for extruded polystyrene foam (EPS# 6). It has become common to use Styrofoam as a generic term to describe all polystyrene foams, such as cups, food containers and packaging.

Polystyrene is recyclable and has a resin identification code of #6. However, it is not easily recycled because it takes up a lot of space and requires special machinery.

UC Davis Student Housing and Dining Services partners with DART Container during move-in to recycle the Polystyrene. DART Container transfers the collected foam to their Lodi facility for processing, before being distributed to manufacturers that will use the recycled material to create premium picture frames and crown molding.

This is an important material to recycle or reduce, when possible. Polystyrene does not biodegrade and it spreads easily outdoors because it is lightweight.