Preparing for a New Green Academic Year

Recycling "door hangers" will be placed in every dorm room on campus.

While most students are away from the University enjoying their time-off, traveling, working at summer jobs and internships, or doing whatever else their summer plans may entail, the recycling office has been busy preparing for their return again. There was a major change that became effective soon after students left on June 1st which is that the county has expanded its recycling program and now accepts all plastics numbers 1 through 7 along with some other things. This new expansion opens up opportunities for us here at the University and one major component to making these opportunities successful is to communicate them to the University community.

Along with publishing articles, sending out email announcements to staff, and updating the University’s recycling webpage, our recycling poster has also been revamped. The poster acts as a color-coded key to get the message out on what should and should not be placed in the bins. Not only is it available on the webpage so that anyone can download, print, and post it anywhere, but it is also framed above recycling bins in 95 key high traffic locations across campus. Among them, 48 are located within the residential buildings. This summer we looked for some additional places to put up more framed posters and came up with 28 new locations.

Aside from the posters there are a couple of other tools that will be used to get the word out, specifically for students who live on campus. When they arrive to their dorm room for the first time they will be greeted by a recycling “door hanger”. These will have a miniature version of the poster on the front of them with colorful pictures of some of the things that they are likely to have in their dorms to attract the eye. On the back will be a list of where to take recyclables to in each building. Students can keep the door hangers in their rooms and use them as a guide to help remind them what items they can recycle throughout the year.

What better time to do some informative reading then while in the bathroom stall? That is the concept of “inSTALLments”, which are being placed in all 750 of the residential bathrooms on campus. Here students will find a more detailed description about “Recycling 101” at the University. Aside from the typical bottles, cans, and papers, students can read up on where they can take their ink cartridges and old electronics to be recycled.

Containers labeled and ready to go- check! But aside from these tools, new freshman also have the opportunity to talk to specially trained peers about recycling and sustainability on campus. That is the purpose of EcoReps, to help promote change within their living quarters and create enthusiasm among their neighbors to do so as well. The EcopReps will be getting involved with recycling right off the bat by helping to break down cardboard and recycle Styrofoam through a special program on move-in day. We appreciate their help and everyone’s cooperation to make it a great year for recycling!

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