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
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 email@example.com with specific questions.
Have you noticed anything different about your favorite campus waste station?
Recycling at the Medford/Somerville campus is now mixed! Boston will be transitioned in March 2017 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:
Dump out liquids.
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 campus, you will be transitioned in March 2017. The Grafton campus recycling system will be updated during the summer months.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Beginning this fall, the free campus shuttle which runs a loop along Boston Avenue on the Medford/Somerville campus will add a stop at the Whole Foods store on Mystic Valley Parkway.
Though there are several groceries stores near campus readily accessible by car, reaching them by foot or by bike — and returning with a load of groceries — can be difficult, inconvenient, and time-consuming. The new shuttle stop will provide students with another option for fresh produce and other healthy food and make doing errands simpler and more sustainable.
The revised schedule will also include a stop at the Mayer Campus Center, thereby linking the Boston Ave and Davis Square shuttles and making travel between the different sectors of campus and its surroundings more feasible.
Recycling interns Alex Cherry and Megan Mooney worked with Administrative Services to make the change possible. Cherry notes that Whole Foods offers a bottle and can return station and hopes students will use the shuttle for that service as well.
Administrative Services hosts information about shuttle schedules and the shuttle tracker app. The shuttles will begin operating once the school year starts, but the Boston Ave shuttle is available here.
The recently formed Tufts Food Rescue Collaborative is looking for student volunteers to help package food donations for Food for Free at Dewick and Carmichael dining halls! This rescued surplus will be used to support Food for Free’s Motel Family Meals program, providing daily dinner’s for 20 homeless families living at the Day St. Hotel in Boston.
Volunteers will be scheduled for approximately one hour of work between 2 – 4pm Mon – Sat, and priority will be given to weekly volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering or hearing more about the program, email Tufts.FRC@gmail.com to find out more.
The Research Symposium represents one of the GSC’s core missions: to promote communication between disciplines and across the schools. This is a great opportunity for graduate students to develop and hone their public speaking skills. It will challenge you to discuss your research with an audience of diverse academic backgrounds and allow the Tufts community to appreciate the extent of scholarly work that takes place here. The theme of this year’s symposium is effective communication. You can chose to present in one or more of the three different sessions: 15-minute presentations, 5-minute presentations, and a poster session.