Faculty and Staff

Sustainability Ambassadors Program

Image of rows of plants in plastic potting containers with text 'Help Plant New Ideas'.The Sustainability Ambassadors Program is one way to ensure departments on campus have an investment in and exposure to sustainability for all departments at UAB. The program will create a network of employees in each building on UAB’s academic and medical campus, and those employees will promote sustainability to colleagues in their building through problem-solving, communication, and new programming.

Sustainability Ambassadors will communicate and advocate for more sustainable practices within their buildings, programs, and scopes of work in an effort to cultivate a sustainability culture in the professional workspaces at UAB. They will also act as conduits of information to implement tailored sustainable programs to meet the needs of the buildings they serve.


All program participants must:

  • be a full time, benefits-eligible employee (faculty or staff)
  • have the support of their direct supervisor to participate
  • have an interest in recycling, wellness, or other sustainability-related initiatives

Sustainability Ambassadors Program participants agree to:

  • serve as an Ambassador for a one-year term: August to August
  • attend a lunch and learn orientation event in October, where information about general benchmarking for sustainability in higher education and key sustainability initiatives at UAB will be presented
  • keep in regular, monthly contact with UAB Sustainability via email regarding updates from their building and events
  • attend a second meeting in April

Please email UAB Sustainability at sustainability@uab.edu if you would like to become an Ambassador. Nominations are also welcome!

Recycle in Your Workplace

All non-medical UAB offices should have a trash can and a deskside paper recycling bin. Offices have trash collection on Monday and Thursday and paper recycling collection on Tuesday, all done by Building Services staff. In general, trash in common areas is removed daily. Larger recycling containers in central areas are collected on a weekly basis by UAB Recycling staff, or on demand by emailing recycle@uab.edu or calling (205) 996-9043. If requesting attention from the UAB Recycling staff, please be very specific about your request. For special events like office or lab cleanouts, call the Recycling Center for delivery of additional receptacles.

UAB Recyclingblaze recycle

Aluminum cans and #1 and #2 plastic bottles may be placed in green receptacles shown in the picture with Blaze. Paper and cardboard are collected in 96 gallon rolling totes labeled “paper recycling only.” The following items can be placed in the paper collection totes:

  • Office paper
  • Newspapers
  • Cardboard boxes (broken down and flattened)
  • Magazines
  • Textbooks
  • Phone books
  • Other common paper items (paper bags, mail, envelopes, folders)

**We cannot recycle material that has come into contact with food, beverages, or grease. Throw those pizza boxes in the trash!

The UAB Recycling Center also has a drop-off area where you can take recyclable material from home or work. The Center accepts:
  • Aluminum cans (soda, beer)
  • Steel food cans (soup, tuna, etc)
  • #1 and #2 plastic bottles, empty and rinsed (soda, water, detergent, milk, etc) **no plastic bags, plates, flatware
  • Glass
  • Used cooking oil/grease. White shed at Drop-off Entrance. Empty jugs on top shelf, full jugs go on the bottom shelf.

Toner Cartridge Recycling

UAB now recycles toner cartridges. The process for recycling toner, depends on your location:

For Campus Locations:

Place used toner or ink cartridges in the box for the new cartridge (or the old box, if saved) and put into the Campus Mail as if it were outgoing mail. Campus Mail will take the cartridges to Shipping and Receiving to be sent to a vendor for remanufacturing.

For Hospital Locations:

Staples, Inc., will pick up spent toner cartridges in hospital areas. Cartridges should be placed back into a box (generally the one that the new cartridge came in.) When Staples makes their routine deliveries to your department, they will pick up any used cartridges and take them with them.  Please do not leave by the mailboxes in our public areas, but rather give them to the delivery staff when they are in your area.

Recycling toner cartridges will help reduce landfill pressure while generating additional revenue for sustainability projects at UAB!

UAB Recycling has partnered with Protec Recycling to provide electronics recycling. Some items may not be accepted at the recycling center, but can be taken directly to Protec Recycling. Protec Recycling assures that all collected materials will be contained and recycled in a manner that is environmentally safe. Visit the UAB Recycling website for a full list of acceptable and unacceptable items.

Battery Recycling
Alkaline batteries, such as AA, AAA, etc are not recyclable and are not hazardous waste. These batteries can go into regular trash. Lithium, NiCad and lead acid batteries are considered Universal Wastes, along with fluorescent lamps and ballasts. These items must be stored in a secure area and labeled properly. There are various staging areas around campus for collection of these items, though only items generated on UAB property will be accepted. For more information, please visit the EH&S website.

Pallet Recycling

Most pallets come to main receiving locations throughout campus, such as the Hospital General Services Building. However, if you have pallets for disposal, please drop them at our central pallet collection for recycling instead of putting them in the dumpster. The collection is on the back side of the Chevron Building (site of the Campus Maintenance Warehouse). Drive along the back side of Chevron, past the Motor Pool fuel pumps, to the end of the building and last loading dock. Please leave pallets neatly stacked to the side of the ramp for the last loading dock if no one is near the door to receive you. Only intact wood pallets are accepted. Pallets are collected weekly from this site for reuse.

City of Birmingham Recycling

For information about recycling in non-UAB residences, please visit the Alabama Environmental Council.

Carpool with Your Co-Workers

Use the CommuteSmart program to save yourself money, help the environment, and make parking a better experience for everyone in the UAB community.

Charge Your Electric Vehicle!

Learn where on campus you can charge your electric car.

Reuse UAB Property

UAB Staff and Faculty can obtain chairs, desks, file cabinets, bookcases, computers, and many other items from the UAB Surplus Warehouse. These gently used items are free to UAB Departments, though there is a charge if you need the UAB Movers to help with your items. Check out the website for the policies and procedures for turning over your unwanted UAB property or obtaining property from them.

Get Into Wellness

UAB Human Resources offers Employee Wellness programs, including fun runs, smoking cessation programs, health screenings, produce farm stands, and more.

Association for the Advancements of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)

UAB is a member of AASHE, which is an organization of colleges and universities that are working to advance sustainability in higher education. our AASHE membership covers everyone on campus, so you can access AASHE's online resources and opportunities for networking, information sharing, collaboration, curriculum development, and professional development as a faculty or staff member at UAB.

Be Energy and Water Wise!

You can help save water and energy through habits in your working and living areas. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Report energy and water problems like leaky faucets by calling 934-WORK.
  • In the winter, open the shades in your area to let the sun in and help heat the building. In the summer, set the blinds to allow light in but not the sun’s rays to reduce building cooling needs.
  • If you expect to be away from your area for more than 8 minutes, turn the lights off.
  • Notify Energy Management if you notice any outside lights on during the day by calling 934-WORK.
  • Turn computers, printers, copiers, etc off when not in use. Do not leave computers on with the screen saver.
  • Avoid using space heaters, as are inefficient and may be a fire hazard. If you are having heating/cooling issues, call Campus or Hospital Maintenance.

Buy Local Produce

Locally-sourced produce is often fresher than items shipped from afar, supports local and self-reliant food economies, and fewer fossil fuels are burned because of the reduced transportation. UAB partners with local vendors to offer seasonal Farm Stands in various campus locations, as well as pre-order service deliveries of produce to many campus buildings.


When considering items for purchase, first determine whether the item or service is really necessary. Also, consider used items available from the Surplus Warehouse. When selecting new items for purchase, select options that have recycled sources, low VOC emissions, and other sustainable product aspects when quality, performance, and price are comparable to traditional alternatives. Many of UAB’s vendors, such as Fisher Scientific and Staples, offer sustainable alternatives for common products. If purchasing through Staples, be sure to checkout their environmentally conscious page: Easy on the Planet.