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. During the 8 week long 2018 Recyclemania competition the waste diversion rate was 27.19%, demonstrating the potential of a
coordinated recycling effort on campus.
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 is facilitated
by Eco C.A.T.S and OSEM interns who manage the program and student volunteers to assist
with collections. From 2009 to 2018 our recycling volume has increased by 160.8 tons
from 117.2 tons to 278 tons.
- 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.
This useful handout can help simplify recycling at WCU!
Should I Recycle This?
- 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
- 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
- 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.