UT Recycling’s first large-scale project of the 2014–15 school year is a plan to improve paper recycling efforts on campus.
Last year, UT sent 6,309 tons of material to the landfill at a significant cost to the university. That was, however, the least amount of trash sent to the landfill by the university in at least the past fifteen years.
Also last year, UT recycled 2,566 tons of material, or 28.9 percent of the campus’s waste. That’s the highest percentage of material diverted from the landfill in university history.
During the academic year, representatives from UT Recycling will visit all campus offices to ensure that employees not only have adequate receptacles, but that they are using paper recycling bins correctly.
“People see a blue office recycling bin and automatically assume it is for any type of recyclable material,” Recycling Manager Jay Price said. “If bottles, cans, and other materials are thrown into a paper recycling bin, unfortunately it just turns into a trash can.”
The blue deskside recycling bins are only for paper. UT Recycling recycled 306 tons of paper from campus offices last year. The total amount of paper recycled from campus has been decreasing each year for the past three years, due primarily to the fact that people are using less paper.
When paper is kept clean and separate from other trash or recyclable materials, it can be sold to recycling companies. So, rather than costing the university money, it can actually generate revenue used to further increase campus recycling efforts.
“We need everyone’s help to make our paper recycling program successful,” said Price. “If you need a bin or have questions, please contact us. Paper recycling is so much easier than it used to be. Just about any clean paper can be recycled in the blue paper recycling bins.”
Recyclable paper items include:
- Office paper of any color–no need to remove staples, paper clips, or binder clips
- Hardback books–leave covers on
- Spiral-bound notebooks–leave the binding on
- Hanging folders–no need to separate the paper from the metal hanger or remove tabs
- File folders
- Envelopes–even with the plastic windows
- Magazines and journals
- Shredded paper
- Sticky notes
- Posters and index cards
- Cereal boxes and other noncorrugated paperboard boxes
Don’t put these items in your blue deskside paper recycling bins:
- Paper towels
- Paper plates or other food-related paper
- Paper cups
- Other recyclables
For more information about UT Recycling go to recycle.utk.edu.
Brooke Stevenson (865-974-7782, firstname.lastname@example.org)