For the past decade, Wright State University has collected recycled materials including mixed paper such as folders, writing paper, envelopes and cardboard.
Jim Click, custodial services manager, said of the 138 tons of recycled materials Wright State has collected over the last five years, corrugated cardboard boxes has comprised 60% of the collection.
Recycling on campus isn’t just good for the environment. It also benefits the university financially.
“We make money when we recycle. It costs us money when we dispose of trash,” said Click.
While the university pays a fee for a waste collection contractor to haul away garbage and recycling, Wright State later receives a monetary payment for collecting mixed paper that can be recycled.
Wright State averages between $10,000 and $15,000 in recycling revenue per year, which peaked in 2011 with almost $30,000 in recycling revenue.
Last year the university implemented a centralized waste removal procedure for every floor in every campus building. The centralized collection areas contain a recycling bin with clear bags and a trash bin with black bags. Cardboard boxes can be collected from these areas as well. The centralized location makes it convenient for custodial staff to remove discarded items.
Click said that university waste and recycling collection is a team effort across campus. While custodial services staff members collect from inside campus buildings, grounds and maintenance staff collect from dozens of bins located outside around campus.
“If you are out and about on campus and are throwing something away and it’s recyclable, put it in the recycle bin,” said Joe Dick, grounds and transportation supervisor.
Discarding food into recycling cans will contaminate the bag and recycled materials, Dick said. When bags are cross-contaminated they cannot be recycled and end up in a landfill.
“We’re trying to play our little part on campus to generate awareness for recycling, help people be aware of it, the importance of it and how that recycling saves a lot of money,” said Click.