New centralized recycling coming to UWM

大奖娱乐官方网站主页As of Jan. 1, new rules will require that UWM must ensure that no plastic bags enter the recycling stream. This includes the typical bags that Environmental Services collects in. Such bags ensnare equipment on the processing end, slowing down the sorting downstream and hurting the economics of what our plastics, glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard become.

大奖娱乐官方网站主页A cross-campus work group, led by Laura Stevens in the Office of Sustainability, developed a strategy to improve things. The team kept in mind safety, cost (upfront and ongoing), as well as impacts on labor, resiliency to market changes and legality of the new measure. Centralized, off-site collection rose to the top as a means to collect recycling while keeping bags out of the hauler’s collection.

大奖娱乐官方网站主页The 49 recycling dumpsters spread around campus will go away. All buildings will have a designated dock space and container(s) to collect the clear bags of recycling. Two new staff will go around campus daily to collect these bags, bring them to a new compactor at the University Services and Research Building and open them into the compactor, eliminating the bag from collection. Once this operation is in place, the Office of Sustainability will be reviewing the challenge of removing bags all together, but this is proving to be a deeper dive.

This new centralized recycling process will save UWM approximately $110,000 annually. Further reductions and cost savings are also under review to capture the most value out of all our downstream resources.

For users, nothing will change. The blue bins with the clear bag are still where you put all your acceptable recycling.

Remember these five points in recycling at UWM:
1. On average, 40% of our waste could be recycled.
2. Recycling guidelines change – always check area guidelines for accepted recyclables.
3. Remember the basics at UWM: paper and cardboard, glass, aluminum, plastic bottles and jugs all should be recycled.
4. Refuse single-use items (straws, napkins, containers, bags, etc.), instead pack a lunch and BYO cup/mug.
5. When in doubt, reach out to UWM’s sustainability page.

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