Outdoor Recycling Begins!

If you have spent a lot of time on the River Campus the past couple of years, you have probably noticed recycling improvements including new recycling containers, a standard label system, and educational posters. This progress is mostly visible from the inside of buildings, but as a result of a project initiated by the University Council on Sustainability, attention is now being put on the outdoor recycling and waste management situation as well. With so many container options out there of varying style, material, and design, University Facilities & Services decided to try a few different models on campus. The common goals for each chosen container type are that they are easy to see, easy to use, and in accessible locations no matter where you are or where you’re going!

Our first contestant, weighing in at 300 lbs., is the WM Solar Powered Trash Compactor, affectionately known as a “Big Belly” after the technology that powers it. They look a bit different than the usual trash receptacles you’ll see around campus and they are very different on the inside too. Though trash compactors are often large, ungainly machines, this one is the same size as a normal trash can.  Relying on the energy efficient solar panels on the top of the machine, these compactors use per week about as much energy as it takes to power a light bulb, and compacts as many times as needed, meaning that it can hold up to five times the amount of trash as a normal bin, and has to be emptied much less frequently.

“But this is Rochester,” you may be thinking, “How often are these compactors actually going to see the sun?”  Fortunately for us, our solar powered compactors are designed with a 12-volt battery that charges when there is sun and can keep the unit running for several weeks, even without direct sunlight! This means that even on cloudy days, there’s no problem.

While the miniature trash compactor may steal the show with its energy efficient panels and design, the attached recycling bin for bottles and cans makes a perfect match. The duo is made from 90% post-consumer recycled content. Perhaps you have noticed the compactor and recycling set that has been on Dandelion Square for a year now. Check out the new ones in some of the busiest areas of campus – down the steps between Hylan and Hutchinson Hall (Hutchinson Rd. side), by Frederick Douglas in front of The Meliora entrance, and coming soon outside of ITS (back of Rush Rhees Library). Keep an eye out for these new outdoor recycling/trash duos, and remember: Mash your trash!

Our second contestant is the Victor Stanley Double Ironsite (pictured right), which looks a lot like the outdoor trash containers we’ve seen around campus already, with one difference. They’re part green! With two bins in one cage, we get the advantage of a noticeable and understandable container system that fits the style of our already numerous collection of outdoor containers. While not as flashy as the compactors, these containers offer a bit more versatility of location, capable of being moved and placed on any surface, anytime!

There are two of these new containers around the Eastman Quad- one between Rush Rhees and Wilson Commons and the other between Hoyt and Simon, and a third container by Gavett on your way to the BME optics building!

Our third contestant (pictured left), dreamt up and developed right here on campus by University Facilities & Services own devoted jack-of-all-trades Eris Oleksyn, is the Retrofitted Split-stream Victor Stanley Ironsite. By far the most efficient use of resources, this art project is made from our own used metal trash containers, which allows us to reuse old material rather than getting rid of and replacing them with newer and flashier models. Repainted and refitted with two bins where there once was only one, this little beauty gives you the adaptability of a small container with the added benefit of recycling and trash. Additionally, this model is a more space efficient solution to recycling outdoors and the cost is much lower than ordering brand new bins. Just make sure that when you drop something in, you’re getting the correct side – with two bins in one container, it’s up to you to keep contamination out of our recycling! Where the other container sets may not fit, this Retrofitted trash can has room to spare!  See these three new containers by Goergen Athletic Center, outside of Pura Vida/Goergen BME Optics building, and off the tunnels outside of Hoyt Auditorium.


These containers will serve as convenient way to recycle plastic, metal, or glass bottles that you may have on hand while walking through campus. Observations show that paper is not often thrown in the trash outside, but if you happen to be traveling with unwanted paper, please hold on to it until you come upon one of the many paper recycling bins we have placed indoors. The recycling office will monitor these containers for effectiveness on our campus, so send your feedback our way.

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