Sustainability and Energy Management

Recycling

Recycling

 

Introduction

Western Carolina University has a long history of providing recycling services for campus. Our recycling program begin in the early 1970’s with the creation of our food waste collection program in Brown and Dodson Cafeteria.  In 1988, we expanded our recycling program to include other waste stream items including separated paper, metal, aluminum, and cardboard. Facilities Management Housekeeping staff has been responsible for collecting all recycling and waste inside campus academic, administrative, and athletic buildings.  Facilities Management Grounds staff has handled recycling and waste pick-up outside all buildings. Residential Life Housekeeping staff handle residence hall recycling and waste.

This office supports recycling efforts on campus as part of operating a successful campus sustainability program. In the fall of 2016 a new Recycling Coordinator position was created to oversee recycling.  From 2010 to 2015 our volume of recyclables captured increased.  During the 8 week long 2017 Recyclemania competition the waste diversion rate was 27.19%, demonstrating the potential of a coordinated recycling effort on campus.

WHEE Recycle

In 2013, OSEM launched the campus-wide WHEE Recycle program and in 2014 created the WHEE Recycle Tailgate Recycling program for all home football games, which uses interns from OSEM to manage the program and student volunteers to assist with collections. From 2009 to 2015 our recycling volume has increased by 99.94 tonsfrom 117.2 tons to 217.14 tons. 

Top Priorities

  • Minimize landfill waste and increase recycling.
  • Provide continuing educational programming and develop marketing strategies
  • Appropriate selection of bins and collection sites
  • Inform and train staff involved with recycling of its value and importance
  • Maximize income generated from various recycling streams 
  • Reduce landfill fees and hauling costs
  • Operate as efficiently as possible given available resources
  • Stay abreast of recycling news, technology and markets
  • Network with other institutions best practices in order to achieve waste reduction and recycling objectives.

 Materials

Recyclables vs non-Recyclables

Mixed Paper                                                                                        Styrofoam Packaging and Dinnerware 
Cardboard                                                                                           Bubble/Shrink Wrap 
Aluminum                                                                                            Milk and Juice Cartons
Glass                                                                                                    Pizza Boxes
Plastics #1-7                                                                                        Candy Wrappers
Printer Cartridges                                                                              Frozen Food Boxes
Electronic Devices                                                                             Foil Snack Bags
Batteries                                                                                             Hazardous Waste (Glue, Paint)
Fluorescent Lamps                                                                            Napkins, Tissues, Paper Towels 
Food & Oil Waste from Dining Services
Construction Waste & Scrap Metal

 

ADditional information

  • Large white three bin recycling stations are located outside of residence halls for mixed paper and mixed plastic, glass and metal containers. Place corrugated cardboard next to the bins or inside the enclosure. For other recycling needs or questions contact the Recycling Coordinator or submit an online work request.
  • With the support of campus colleges and departments we are introducing new indoor three-stream recycling stations.  By making recycling more user friendly and eliminating bins in classrooms we will be able to capture more recyclables and reduce waste.  Departments may order bins through the Recycling Coordinator.
  • Committed recyclers can request a recycling tote to collect recycling in their room.  The basket style bins can then be used to deposit recyclables into larger common area bins. 
  • We now accept all types of plastic # 1-7.  Look for the recycling symbol and number on the container.  The world’s landfills, waterways and oceans are now inundated with plastic and micro plastic is now found in the food chain.  Reduce, reuse and recycle plastic! 
  • Glass, aluminum and plastic containers can be comingled together.  Bins are usually found in common areas or hallways.  No plastic grocery or shopping bags please.  Recycle them at Lowes, Ingles and other grocery and retail stores that accept film plastic.
  • Paper can be mixed together and is collected in smaller bins usually located in centralized office areas or near copiers. Corrugated cardboard is collected separately and is recycled into new paper at Jackson Paper in Sylva.
  • Containers do not have to be washed but they must be emptied of liquids.
  • Outdoor recycling bins are placed throughout campus.  Look for the blue recycling logo.
  • Bins to collect all types of printer cartridges/toners and small electronic equipment (cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, iPods, GPS, etc.) are located in Courtyard Dining, University Center, HHS, Stillwell, McKee, WCU Bookstore, Hunter Library, IT Commons, Camp Lab, HFR and the Residence Halls.  
  • University owned electronics are collected and taken to surplus by IT.
  • Our food waste collection program, started in 1974, has a long history at WCU.  All of our food scraps from the Courtyard Dining is collected by a hog farm in Haywood County and used as feed.  They get 90% of their feed supply from us so this helps support a small, local business.  
  • Waste oil from dining services is collected by a vendor and taken to Blue Ridge Biofuels in Asheville to produce biodiesel and home heating oil.
Office of Web Services