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Switch Your ThinkingThe University of Tennessee, Knoxville, recycled more than 63,060 pounds of cardboard, paper, plastic and cans — about 1.5 pounds per full-time staff person — last year during RecycleMania. Next week, UT is hosting its second Paper Purge Party, where everyone on campus is invited to get rid of their unwanted paper.

Every day for the week of Feb. 14-18, volunteers with the Facilities Services Department will be making the rounds to buildings on campus, going door to door and picking up paper for recycling. The volunteers will do all the heavy lifting. All you have to do is gather your paper in a box, bin, pile or bag, mark it for “recycling” and set it outside your door.

“Many people are just like me and keep old catalogs, directories, files of old information and magazines around their office. It’s time for all of us to purge all that old non-confidential paper. By doing so, we’ll reduce clutter, stress and waste,” said Jay Price, environmental coordinator.

Recycle binsNew this year — and thanks to ALCOA, Keep America Beautiful and the College and University Recycling Coalition — UT Facilities Services, in addition to picking up your recycling, will be offering recycling bins for plastic and cans to every office, free of charge. The bins come with one stipulation: after the Paper Purge Party ends, takers use the bins and empty them into hallway or loading dock recycling bins to be collected.

“Our hope is that by providing everyone a recycling bin of their own, we can encourage recycling all year,” said Price.

If you have so much paper that it will block a hallway or it is an especially large load, please call 974-3480 to arrange for a special pick-up. If, for some reason, your recycling is not picked up, please call to schedule a pick-up.

The Paper Purge Party is part of RecycleMania, an eight-week competition among more than 630 college and university recycling programs representing 6 million students and more than 1.5 million staff and faculty that kicked off Feb. 6. This year UT Knoxville’s recycling program has decided to take on Florida again in an effort to recycle more than the Gators.

RecycleMania aims to increase recycling participation by students and staff and raise awareness about the significance of waste reduction programs on campuses. It is part of the university’s effort to become climate-neutral.

The Paper Purge Party is sponsored by UT Recycles, Make Orange Green and UT Athletics. For more information about RecycleMania and the UT Knoxville recycling program, visit http://www.pp.utk.edu/Recycle.