Frequently Asked Questions

Campus Specific Questions

What is UNMC LiveGreen?
UNMC LiveGreen is a campus wide initiative designed to make people aware of the steps the campus is taking to reduce energy usage, save money, and make the planet a better place. In addition this website will provide you with tips you can use at work and home to help the cause. Want to be more involved? Take the pledge or consider joining one of our teams!

How can my unit/department/office get involved?
You can take the pledge and encourage your co-workers to do the same, join a LiveGreen Team, sign up to receive email announcements, and visit this site regularly to learn about the little things you can do that can make a big difference!

How does UNMC calculate energy usage?
UNMC Facilities has, or is installing, meters on every building on campus that display the amount of steam, chilled water, and electricity used in the building. This amount is recorded and will enable us to know if energy usage has changed—hopefully gone down! Would you like to see the totals? Check them out here!

What does UNMC recycle?
Currently UNMC recycles paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum and tin. Paper is placed in its own bin, cardboard needs to be broken down flat, and plastic, aluminum and tin can be placed together in a separate container.

What can we place in the recycle bins we have near our desks?
Desk side recycle bins are only for paper.

Why can't we place everything in one container?
To be HIPAA compliant, all paper is shredded prior to recycling and therefore must be collected separately.

What types of lab plastic are recyclable on campus?
UNMC recycles plastics 1-6, which include plastic from labs. Plastics that have been used with biohazardous materials cannot be recycled and must be disposed of with biohazard waste (red bag/bin). Please make sure that all other plastic is generally clean--if petri dishes have a plastic number 1-6, they cannot contain agar/media and need to be rinsed if they will have an odor.

Can I bring recycled materials from home to UNMC for proper disposal?   

While we LOVE that you are so willing to recycle, we would prefer you to use your curbside pickup for recycling. If your neighborhood does not have curbside pickup or does not pick up glass you can take those materials to these locations:


Northwest Drop-off Site
Parking Lot at 75th and Corby St
Open daily from 7am to 7pm

Northeast Drop-off Site
International Paper Co., 7202 N 16th St
Open daily from 7am to 7pm

Southwest Drop-off Site
Firstar Fiber, 10330 I St
Open daily from 7am to 7pm

Southeast Drop-off Site
River City Recycling, 6404 S 60th St.
Open Monday through Friday: 8AM - 4:30PM
Saturday: 8AM - 4:30PM, Spring, Summer and Fall
Saturday: 8AM - Noon, Winter

For more information go to

Is there a way to shut down my computer and still access it remotely?
The UNMC Live Green team understands that from a technology standpoint, computers must be left on in order to connect from home. IT is investigating some options for users to be able to work remotely and still shut down their computer when they leave, such as waking it u. However, we must be sure that this will be successful and cost effective. In the meantime, be sure to turn off your monitor when you leave for the day. If you know you won't be logging in from home, be sure to shut down or log off.

 General Recycling Questions

Can I recycle plastic bags?
Plastic bags are not recyclable on campus, but there is no need to throw them away. Plastic bags can easily be re-used. In addition, some local grocery stores keep collection bins for plastic bags. You can always reduce your plastic bag consumption by using re-usable cloth bags from your favorite retail store.

What do I do with bottle caps?
Before you recycle your bottles, be sure to remove the cap and place it in the garbage. Bottle caps are not recyclable. Also, be sure to rinse your bottles before placing in the recycle bin.

Do I need to remove labels from bottles before recycling?
No. Labels on bottles and cans may be recycled.

Do I have to separate plastic and aluminum?
No. You can put bottles, jugs, cans or containers into the same "Bottles and Cans" recycling bin. Be sure to rinse the containers.

Can I recycle paper with tape on it?
It's OK to leave tape on paper; however, it can cause problems for machines used in the recycling process. If possible, try to remove obvious tape from papers and other items before recycling. However, you don’t need to waste your time scraping off all tape.

What items are not recyclable?
Pizza boxes, juice boxes, milk cartons, hardbound books, tissue paper, paper plates, Styrofoam, rubber bands, plastic bags, packing peanuts.

I am holding a public event and want to offer recycling? What can I do?
Keep Omaha Beautiful now has a portable recycling trailer available for organized community events. It can be rented for a small fee. Please visit the Keep Omaha Beautiful website for more information.

Resource Conservation

How can I conserve resources in my office? A few simple tips:
• Replace light bulbs in desk and floor lamps with CFLs. CFLs use 75% less energy than standard bulbs and may last 10-13 times longer. Also, turn off the lights when you leave your office.
• If your office gets too hot, be sure to turn down the thermostat instead of opening a window. The shades in your office or workspace can also serve as a resource. Keep the shades closed to block out heat and sunlight in the summer and open to allow sunlight warmth during the winter.
• Be sure to enable power-saving features on fax machines, printers and other office equipment.
• Re-use paper with one sided printing for scratch paper at your desk or in your workspace.
• Utilize the print duplexing option when available.  Check out the Green IT link for tips on computer settings and printer efficiencies

This information adopted from Harvard University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the City of Omaha Public Works Department.