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ASU recycling program expands – and compacts


August 25, 2008

ASU’s recycling program has a new home – in the Grounds Department – and a new coordinator – Dawn Ratcliffe.

And, the way recyclables are collected is changing, as is what’s on the recycling list.

Beginning in late summer or early fall, the custodial staff will alternate in collecting trash and recyclables deskside and in office common areas, “so most departments will no longer have to take the bulk of their recyclables outside their immediate office area,” Ratcliffe said.

Custodians will take recyclables and trash to new compactors that will replace all of the large Dumpsters currently on campus.

Another major change is that recyclables will now be co-mingled, and the list of what is acceptable has been greatly expanded.

On the “yes” list now are newspapers, brown paper bags, chipboard (cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc.), magazines and catalogs (no plastic wrappers), copy paper wrappers, phonebooks, paperback and hardback books, office paper (computer, white, color, Post-it notes, etc., with paper clips and rubber bands removed), junk mail, file folders, brochures, shredded paper (put in clear plastic bags and placed next to paper bins), aluminum cans and foil with no food residue, steel/tin cans, aerosol cans (must be emptied and non-hazardous), cartons (orange juice, etc.), aseptic containers (drink boxes, etc.), liquid- and waste-free plastic with or without numbers 1-7, including bottles, caps, lids, and plastic utensils.

All containers with liquid should be emptied before they are placed in recycling containers and trash cans, Ratcliffe said.

“In an audit conducted last year, we found that up to 36 percent of the weight of the garbage cans on campus consisted of fluids, with the average being 15 percent.

“In an effort to save money, reduce contamination of our recyclables, and keep garbage and recycling containers cleaner, we are asking people to consume or use all of the liquids in the beverage containers or empty them out in a kitchen or bathroom sink,” Ratcliffe added.

“The reduction in liquids is also extremely helpful to custodial staff and members of the recycling crew who have to handle the garbage and recycling containers, both of which can weigh significantly more with liquid in them.”

ASU Recycling also will continue to collect cardboard. Boxes should be flattened and placed in designated areas for pick-up.

Anyone wishing to recycle batteries may call Risk Management (Hazardous Waste) at (480) 965-0647 and ask for a pick-up.

Batteries generated through ASU-related operations may be recycled by faculty or staff. For a pickup, please contact Environmental Health & Safety at (480) 965-1823 or (480) 965-3899, or ASKEHS2@mainex1.asu.edu. You may also fill out an online waste pickup request http://uabf.asu.edu/waste_form.

Cartridge recycling also is now much easier, thanks to ASU Stores, Ratcliffe said. “Instead of sending your cartridges back to Hewlett Packard by way of UPS or holding on to non-Hewlett Packard cartridges, ASU Stores will now pick up all cartridges from your department.”

For a pick-up, contact ASU Stores at (480) 965-3772 or asustores@asu.edu.

Glass is not yet on the recycling list, but Ellen Newell, associate director of Grounds Services, said Grounds is working with a company to set up glass pickup.

Also on the “future” list is a are periodic pickup collection sites for CDs, DVDs and jewel cases, and perhaps even shoes, Ratcliffe said.

ASU staff will not collect packaging peanuts and bubble wrap at this time, but Ratcliffe suggests taking them to mailbox stores or other shipping facilities.

Though they are not part of the new recycling campaign, new solar-powered trash bins – Big Bellies – have been popping up on the Tempe campus in outside locations, and solar-powered recycling containers soon will join them.

“Thanks to the work of dozens of ASU staff, students, and faculty, including Ellen Newell, Ted Woods, Kerry Suson, Fernando Reyna, Bonny Bentzin and Norman Rollins, who have attended countless committee meetings, arranged contracts, gotten approval for various facets of the program, found vendors, worked out logistics and secured funds, and to Waste Management, our trash and recycling vendor, ASU will have a brand new recycling program,” Ratcliffe said.