Category: Waste (page 2 of 11)

This week at the Cummings School: Mixed Recycling

After switching to mixed recycling on the Medford/Somerville, SMFA, and Boston campuses, Facilities Services and the Office of Sustainability are excited to announce the Grafton campus is transitioning to mixed recycling beginning this week.The Grafton campus transition will complete the university’s switch to mixed recycling. The old glass/metal/plastic and paper/cardboard bins will be replaced with mixed recycling bins that can be identified by their UFO-shaped lids, blue bags, and mixed recycling labels.

A dual stream waste station at Tufts Medford campus before the switch which includes a bin for glass/metal/plastic and a bin for paper/cardboard.

A waste station with mixed recycling and trash co-located.

Before this year, Tufts utilized a dual stream system, which required separating glass, metal, and plastic containers from paper and cardboard items. With the switch to mixed recycling, all of these items will be collected in one bin.

What is Mixed Recycling?

“Mixed recycling” means that the items you normally sort into the blue and green-lidded recycling bins (paper/cardboard and glass/metal/plastic) can be disposed of together. The recyclable materials collected will remain the same but will not need to be separated.

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

 

Why is Tufts Moving to Mixed Recycling?

  1. It’s more convenient!

The ability to put paper/cardboard and glass/metal/plastic recycling in one bin will make recycling simple and easy, providing the Tufts community with two primary options for disposing of waste: “Mixed Recycling” or “Landfill” (along with composting for food waste in some locations). For example, you might recall mixing your recyclables at the recent President’s Picnic.

  1. Our waste stream is changing

The switch to mixed recycling is a direct reaction to the changing needs of the recycling industry: with increased demand for more efficient packaging and changes in personal habits, the makeup of the nation’s waste stream is changing. At one time, paper made up to 70 percent of the weight flowing through recycling programs, but now it accounts for less than 40 percent in many cities. More complex, lightweight materials have begun to replace paper; Tufts’ mixed recycling program will accommodate the disposal of these changing materials more efficiently.

  1. Mixed recycling will support Tufts’ waste reduction goals

Transitioning 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. This system makes recycling easier for everyone and encourages people to recycle rather than send trash to the landfill whenever possible. 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.

 

Learn more about what goes in the new mixed recycling bins – and what doesn’t – in this short online workshop.

 

A Tasty, Zero-Waste Celebration

It’s that time of year again! Tufts Catering fired up their grills and showed off their dessert-making chops (biscuits with berries and cream, anyone?) for the first of three year-end celebrations.

We were excited to see so many students, faculty, and staff attend one of Tufts University’s most delicious annual traditions–the President’s Picnic–on the Medford/Somerville Campus this past Wednesday. Find out when and where upcoming picnics will be taking place!

As a zero-waste event, the picnic only provides recyclable and compostable items. While recycling and composting are great for the environment, it’s even better to reduce and refuse. We encouraged everyone to bring their own reusable place setting and were so impressed with the number of people who participated in this year’s BYOP – Bring Your Own (reusable) Place-setting (plate, utensils, cup/water bottle) initiative. Click on the photos to see them full-size!

Families, students, staff, faculty, and even dogs came by the President’s Lawn to get together and celebrate the conclusion of yet another busy academic year.

A huge shout-out goes to Facilities for managing several waste stations to ensure all materials were properly recycled and composted!

Along with the zero-waste materials, we’ve worked with Catering to eliminate individually packaged condiments and drinks and switch to bulk methods.

Need some tips on how to be waste-free at the next event? Check out this helpful post. Happy picnicking!

Click for recaps from the Boston President’s Picnic and the Grafton Presidents Picnic.

Go to our Facebook album to see more photos from the picnic!

Boston Campus Waste Station Checklist

Recently, you may have noticed some big changes in recycling on the Boston campus: all recycling is now mixed, meaning there are now only types two bins at waste stations across campus: trash and recycling! 

Research shows that an effective way to capture more recyclables is to pair trash containers with recycling containers. Your waste station should have BOTH types of bin listed below:  

Gray trash bin with white “landfill” label 

Gray recycling bin with: 

  • Blue “mixed recycling” label 
  • Light blue bag 
  • Blue UFO-shaped lid 
Complete waste station

Now, that’s a good looking waste station!

If the waste station in your dorm, office, or classroom doesn’t look like the photo above, please submit a work order that will go to Facilities Services.

During the transition to mixed recycling, Tufts strategically reduced the number of waste stations in each building. This helps with efficiency (regarding the time to empty bins) and sustainability (reducing the number of plastic liners we use reduces our overall impact!). Your original central waste station may have been moved to another area on your floor or removed entirely during the transition, however, please do not move any waste receptacles. If you feel that an error has been made with your waste station please submit a work order and contact recycle@tufts.edu with specific questions.  

 

Tufts Dining Hosts Waste Less Dinner

On February 2nd, 2017 Tufts Dining hosted the annual Waste Less Dinner in Dewick. At the dinner, students were encouraged to only take what they could finish, and to eat everything on their plate. Student volunteers collected and weighed any food waste before dirty dishes were sent through the conveyor belt into the dish room.

Food waste is one of the largest components in our landfills, and emits CO2 into the atmosphere as it breaks down.

Take a look at pictures from the event below!

 

Juleen Wong,  A17, a volunteer at the Waste Less Dinner, disposes of food waste before sending the plate back into the kitchen.

 

 

Students line up to hand volunteers their dirty dishes at the Waste Less Dinner.

 

 

Dana, Manager of Dewick-MacPhie (right), and Gary, Manager of Hodgdon (left) attend the Waste Less Dinner.

 

 

Students collect the food waste from Waste Less Dinner attendees’ plates.

 

 

Students volunteer to help run the Waste Less Dinner.

 

 

A view of the food waste station from above

 

 

Tufts Dining provides information about reducing food waste at Tufts.

 

 

 

 

Medford/Somerville Waste Station Checklist

Recently, you may have noticed some big changes in recycling on the Medford and Somerville campuses: all recycling is now mixed, meaning there are now only types two bins at waste stations across campus: trash and recycling! 

Research shows that an effective way to capture more recyclables is to pair trash containers with recycling containers. Your waste station should have BOTH types of bin listed below:  

Gray trash bin with white “landfill” label 

Gray recycling bin with: 

  • Blue “mixed recycling” label 
  • Light blue bag 
  • Blue UFO-shaped lid 
Complete waste station

Now, that’s a good looking waste station!

If the waste station in your dorm, office, or classroom doesn’t look like the photo above, please submit a work order that will go to Facilities Services.

During the transition to mixed recycling, Tufts strategically reduced the number of waste stations in each building. This helps with efficiency (regarding the time to empty bins) and sustainability (reducing the number of plastic liners we use reduces our overall impact!). Your original central waste station may have been moved to another area on your floor or removed entirely during the transition, however, please do not move any waste receptacles. If you feel that an error has been made with your waste station please submit a work order and contact recycle@tufts.edu with specific questions.  

 

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