Tag: recycling (page 2 of 4)

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.

Recycling at Tufts is about to get easier…

Today is America Recycles Day!

To celebrate, Facilities Services and the Office of Sustainability are excited to announce the introduction of mixed recycling (single stream recycling) at the Tufts Medford/Somerville campus starting in the spring 2017 semester. The glass/metal/plastic and paper/cardboard bins on the Medford/Somerville campus will be replaced with mixed recycling bins that can be identified by their UFO-shaped lids, blue bags, and mixed recycling labels. The SMFA can look forward to seeing an increase in this style of bin in January as well.

The Cummings School and the Boston Health Sciences campus will be switched to mixed recycling in the summer of 2017.

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

Tufts currently uses a dual stream system, which requires separating glass, metal and plastic containers from paper and cardboard items. Starting in January 2017 all these items will now be collected in one bin.

What is Mixed Recycling?

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

Mixed Recycling Station

A mixed recycling station set up for testing.

Mixed Recycling Lid

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 easier for you!

The ability to put paper/cardboard and glass/metal/plastic recycling in one bin will make recycling simple and easy, providing the campus community with two primary options for disposing of waste: “Mixed Recycling” or “Landfill” (along with composting for food waste in some locations).

  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. 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.

Boston Ave Shuttle Will Now Stop at Whole Foods

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.

 

Recycling Interns Launch Apartment Composting Program

Tufts students on the Medford campus have been composting in their dorms for several years through the Eco-Reps program. But until last year, unstaffed dorms – that is, dorms without Residential Assistants (RAs) and Eco-Reps – were left to organize the disposal of their organic waste on their own.

The Recycling and Waste Management office run by Facilities Services office set out to rectify that situation in early 2016 by launching a composting program for on-campus apartments, including Hillsides, Latin Way, and Sophia Gordon.

The program aimed to divert food waste from the trash. On-campus apartments have full kitchens, meaning students living in those spaces are more likely to be cooking regularly – and therefore producing more food waste – than students in some of the other dorms.

22 apartments received bins during the first pilot round of the program and several more joined during the spring semester.

Students who signed up for the program received a bin at the beginning of the spring semester, along with instructions about maintaining their compost and locations around campus where the bins could be emptied. Recycling interns also sent out a weekly email with tips and reminders.

Recycling is currently working to improve the program and investigating the potential of having off-campus apartments participate.

(Pictured above: Savannah Christiansen, ‘16, Recycling intern, coordinated the program’s launch in the spring of 2016.)

 

 

 

Introducing: The Trash Buddy Program


Tufts is joining a rapidly growing number of colleges and universities in adopting a proven new office waste management program for faculty and staff that we’re calling the “trash buddy” initiative. Tufts has a robust recycling program, but with your participation in the “trash buddy” initiative, we can do better!

A trash buddy is a miniature trash can that attaches to the blue paper recycling bin in your individual office or cubicle. The trash buddy replaces your traditional desk-side trash can, and its size represents the typical proportion of office waste that is truly trash. The trash buddy’s small volume and attachment to the recycled paper bin encourage recycling. Comparable programs at other universities and organizations increased recycling rates by up to 55%.

All waste produced at your desk that is not recyclable should be disposed of in the trash buddy, and you should empty the trash buddy into a central waste station when it fills up or whenever you find convenient. Only paper and cardboard  should be placed in the desk-side recycling bin the trash buddy attaches to. Central waste stations are typically found in common or well-traversed spaces in your office or building and include a trash bin, a paper and cardboard recycling bin, and a glass, metal, and plastic recycling bin. Custodians will empty the central waste stations every day and will empty your individual paper recycling bin weekly when your office or cubicle is cleaned.

For details, visit the Facilities Services Trash Buddy web page. Want more information about how to recycle at Tufts? Check out the recycling primer!

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