Category: Sustainability News (page 2 of 36)

New Year, New Lid! Campus recycling is now mixed!

Have you noticed anything different about your favorite campus waste station?

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Recycling at the Medford/Somerville campus is now mixed! Boston and Grafton will make the switch in Summer 2017.

Recycling on the Medford/Somerville campus is now MIXED! Mixed recycling means all the materials that you currently recycle will remain the same but will not need to be separated. All paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, and metal can be mixed together in any blue bins with new UFO-shaped lids! We will keep this blog updated regularly with new information about mixed recycling. You can subscribe to regular mixed recycling email updates here.

Please remember the following when recycling:

  1. Dump out liquids.
  2. Wipe out messy food containers.

If you’re on the SMFA campus, you can expect to see this same type of waste station starting next week.  If you’re on the Boston or Grafton campus, you will be transitioned to mixed recycling during the summer months.

mixedlid

The new UFO-shaped mixed recycling lids allow you to dispose of items in a variety of shapes (e.g. bottles and cardboard).

Change is hard, but there is no need to panic! Mixed recycling is simple and easy. New mixed recycling stations provide the campus community with two primary options: recycle or landfill (along with existing composting for food waste in many locations). Trash bins are labeled with a white “Landfill” label to help remind the campus community that the trash we discard ultimately ends up in a landfill somewhere. The blue “Mixed Recycling” label indicates that all recyclables can be mixed in one bin: paper and cardboard, plastics, glass, and metal. When in doubt, please recycle!

Making the move to mixed recycling supports Tufts’ larger plan to improve solid waste and recycling efforts in line with the President’s Campus Sustainability Council’s goal of reducing total waste by 3% per year. Every Tufts community member is asked and expected to help the university meet its waste goals by educating themselves about their campus’s move to mixed recycling. Read more about the President’s Sustainability Council goals to reduce waste here.

Frequently Asked Questions about the mixed recycling transition:

  1. What happened to the waste station next to my office?
    Waste stations have been transitioned to mixed recycling, meaning there are now only two bins at the waste station: trash and recycling. Your original central waste station may have been moved to another area on your floor during the transition, however, please do not move any waste stations. As long as you use your desk-side trash buddy, you will be able to bring your trash and recycling to a central waste station located on your floor of the building. If you have concerns, please contact recycle@tufts.edu.
  2. What does “Landfill” mean?A landfill is a facility where solid waste is taken after you throw it into the trash bin. Landfills are engineered to comply with federal regulations and keep waste dry and away from groundwater sources. Landfills are designed to bury trash — they do not help it break down at a faster rate. This means that items you send to a landfill can stay there for hundreds of years, depending on the materials. As stated in the 2013 Campus Sustainability Council Report, Tufts’ overall vision for waste is a cradle-to-cradle economy, meaning that the campus community will consider the lifecycle cost of products before purchasing them. By labeling bins with the word “Landfill” we hope to remind people about where their waste goes after it is thrown away.
  3. What goes in the “Mixed Recycling” bin? What goes in the “Landfill” bin?
    When you take the time to consider what goes in recycling versus trash, you find that most of your waste really can be recycled! For a list of accepted items, please visit the Facilities Services – Recycling & Waste Management website. We also recommend watching the video below, which explains how to recycle under the new system.

Still have questions? Please contact Facilities Services at recycle@tufts.edu.

Subscribe to email updates

Medford/Somerville Winter Break Recycling Bin Update

Over the winter break, Tufts will begin transitioning the Medford/Somerville campus from dual stream recycling to mixed recycling.

Bins without lids

Custodial staff will start collecting both green and blue recycling lids and extra recycling bins from university offices. and waste stations will be reduced from 3 bins to 2 bins in many locations. Staff and faculty who are working on campus during this period should put their glass, metal, plastic, paper, and cardboard recycling in any bin with a recycling sticker because all items will be recycled together as part of the new mixed recycling program.

Mixed recycling labels and updated lids will be added to campus waste stations throughout the month.

Mixed Recycling Waste Station

New waste stations will contain 1 bin for trash and 1 bin for recycling. Paper, plastic, glass, and metal should be placed in the same bin.

ufo-shaped lid

A ufo-shaped lid will replace the traditional blue and green recycling bin lids. The new lid will allow the Tufts community to conveniently recycle objects of a variety of shapes and sizes.

Thank you for your cooperation as Tufts works to improve its recycling program. Please contact us at recycle@tufts.edu with any questions.

Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative Fall 2016 Summary

We would like to congratulate the Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative, Tufts Dining, and Food For Free on an amazing fall semester! The infographic below shows what they accomplished in 2016.

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Happy Holidays

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Dear Sustainability Partner,

We hope you had an excellent fall semester and are gearing up for a wonderful winter break. As we prepare to leave campus, our hearts are warm as we reflect on you and how you have helped build a more sustainable campus in 2016. Thank you for your daily dedication to sustainability. Whether you are practicing eco-friendly behaviors in your personal life, or you are working on projects that help Tufts advance its sustainability goals, we are grateful for the opportunity to work with you.

 Here are some of the things that we accomplished together this year:

  • 4,050 waste bins inventoried
  • 2,393 gallons of compost diverted from the landfill by the Eco-Reps
  • 2,248 new Facebook fans
  • 1,571 meatless meals eaten in the dining halls as part of the Meatless Mondays campaign
  • 719 pounds of food donated to Project Soup after move-out
  • 468 new Twitter followers
  • 249 residence hall rooms earned a Green Dorm Certification from the Eco-Reps
  • 200 reusable mugs sold in 2 months at The Rez as part of a Tisch Scholar Project
  • 143 new Instagram followers
  • 122 Commencement gowns recycled
  • 54 stories of students, faculty, and staff making Tufts a more sustainable campus in the Sustainability Progress Report
  • 30 blog posts written
  • 27 student class projects related to campus sustainability completed
  • 21 GreEco Reps
  • 19 Eco-Reps
  • 16.53 tons of clothing and household goods diverted from the landfill and donated to charity after move-out
  • 16 sustainability presentations to new hires
  • 14 buildings participated in the Boston Green Ribbon Commission’s lab energy benchmarking study
  • 13 new educational LEED signs added to 574 Boston Avenue
  • 13 recycling studies to prepare for the transition to mixed recycling
  • 12 Orientation Events attended to teach new students and faculty about sustainability
  • 11 students participated in ENVS 195-2: Sustainability In Action
  • 11 interns assisted with communications, green labs, and Eco-Reps
  • 9 offices earned a Green Office Certification
  • 9 employees became Eco-Ambassadors
  • 8 videos produced
  • 6 classes assisted with sustainability research and consulting
  • 6 new Google Maps providing information about sustainability stops and waste stations at Tufts
  • 3 zero-waste President’s Picnics
  • 1 new sustainability signage template created to identify sustainability initiatives across Tufts
  • 1 new Green Lab team including 22 people from 13 departments
  • 1 spring climate change symposium
  • 1 bold new climate commitment signed by President Monaco
  • Welcomed our new Education & Outreach Program Administrator, Shoshana Blank, and bid well wishes to Betsy Byrum

Thank you for working with us in 2016.

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Wishing you a lovely holiday season and a happy new year,

Tina Woolston, Director
Shoshana Blank, Education & Outreach Program Administrator
Lauren Martin, Communications Specialist
Ashlyn Salvage, Eco-Rep Coordinator
Isabel Falls, Assistant Eco-Rep Coordinator
Juleen Wong, Communications Intern
Eujene Yum, Communications Intern
Caroline Ambros, Program Intern
Yao Wu, Green Labs Intern
Tori Wong, Recycling Communications Intern
& Kate Doherty, Supervisor, Facilities Services

5 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas for the Holidays

5 Eco-Friendly Gifts graphic

The holidays are an exciting and busy time of year, and who doesn’t love getting gifts from family and friends? Every year, we receive all sorts of gifts that we don’t use, and eventually throw away. Instead, this holiday season, think about the planet as you think about what to give your loved ones! There are many ways to make gift giving more sustainable and just as much fun.

Give an experience:

Sustainable, thoughtful, and memorable! Try a new hobby, restaurant, etc. in your area with your loved one, or give them membership to a nearby museum or fitness class. Beyond reducing waste, this gift option will create a new, lasting memory with your family or friends.

Sustainable Products:

If you’re looking to give someone a specific product, make sure to pick a brand that will last. There are many websites that will help you pick items that won’t wear out quickly, like this one.

Buy local:

Support your local economy and reduce your carbon footprint by sticking to local shopping. Plus, you’re more likely to find something unique and special that your family member or friend won’t already have if you buy from one of your local small businesses.

DIY:

If you’ve got a tight budget this season, DIY gift giving could be for you! This could be any number of things: bug repellent for the outdoorsman, organizational tools for the home or office, and more! Need some inspiration or guidance? Many websites publish guides for DIY projects, like this post, or Pinterest.

Choose your wrapping wisely:

Once you’ve purchased your gifts you aren’t quite done! You can keep your wrapping sustainable by re-using old bags or wrapping paper, wrapping in newspaper, and avoiding products that come packaged in lots of plastic.

Happy Holidays!

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