Administration and Finance Focus

Administration Finance & Focus

Facilities Services

Campus smart bins get a smart new look

By Jennifer Rea

smart fins

The smart bins that hold the majority of the litter across campus and include a side for single-stream recycling are getting a new look. The previous graphics were useful when originally installed, but it was time for a makeover.

The facelift is intended to educate the user on what should be put into the trash side and what should be put into the recycle side. Many users will contaminate the recycle side by throwing items that have been used for food or drink. Although some items used for drinking can be recycled, they should first be emptied. Items used for food are typically best on the trash side.

Ultimately, educating the end-users will increase the amount of recycling available to do, thereby increasing the amount of money that is collected for the University.

This project went through multiple iterations, but the final design was completed by Facilities Communications student Kriti Wadhera.

“My favorite part is the way that the words ‘recycle’ and ‘trash’ pop out. We had to keep the design in line with UH branding and we knew that we wanted to keep it simple but also noticeable,” Wadhera said.

During the approval and beta installation process, changes were continually made. The design was approved by UH Branding and vetted by AVC/AVP for Facilities David Oliver.

The beta installation testing was completed in October and the majority of bins on campus have now been wrapped.

On seeing her design across campus, Wadhera remarked: “It’s awesome! It looks even better in person and I hope that we were successful in enhancing the campus waste management system.”

The wrapping is being done by the Copy Center/FastSigns on campus. There are over 75 bins on campus.

For questions on the smart bins, contact Facilities Communications. For more information on sustainability efforts across campus, contact the Office of Sustainability.


  • Emptied Plastic Bottles
  • Emptied Aluminum Cans
  • Emptied Cartons
  • Paper without food/drink contamination


  • Styrofoam
  • Straws
  • Plastic Bags
  • Leftover Food