Confused about recycling at Hodgdon?



Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to do with you empty food containers from Hodgdon Good to Go. Luckily, we’ve made an easy guide to help you figure out how to responsibly get rid of them. These posters are downstairs in the food area (in the enclave next to the toasters and microwave) and also up in the Hodgdon lobby next to the recycling and trash bin stations.

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Lift The Lid Poster!



Be on the lookout for these new posters – they will be put up around campus soon!

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Lift The Lid!

You’re finishing up a great cup of coffee from the rez, and, being a responsible student, go to recycle it. But wait – what? This coffee cup doesn’t fit easily into the hole in the paper recycling bin! And what to do with the lid?! Breathe. Don’t give up. Lift the lid. (Well, both lids.)

Let’s see this in action.

First, take the lid off the coffee cup and put it in the plastic recycling bin. Ok? Next step.

lift the lid

Now you’re left with the paper coffee cup. You know it goes in the paper recycling bin…but how? The hole on the top is definitely not shaped to fit a cup like this. But here’s a simple solution: Lift the Lid!

Yes, the bin lids can sometimes be confusing, but for the most part, they help people around campus understand the majority of things that are supposed to go in them. Glass bottles, cans, plastic soda bottles, and other cylindrical things go in the glass, metal plastics bin (green), paper shaped things in the paper bin (blue)…Unless it’s a coffee cup…But just lift the lid! Don’t give up and throw it in the trash.

Ok – I know the trash bins right next to the rez pose another conundrum. Rectangular hole? Cylindrical cup? No lid to lift? Wha??? I’ve seen waaaay too many people shut down when they see this and throw the cup into the trash hole. But no no no! Here’s an easy photographic tutorial of how to responsibly say goodbye to your coffee cup.

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Got it? One last thing – If you had a regular coffee without any foam or steamed milk, you’re good. However, if you’re more of a latte or mocha person, please try to rinse your cup out quickly before recycling it to get the extra goo off the sides.

Now put this info into use and tell all your friends to LIFT THE LID!

Big thank you to the lovely models and responsible citizens Nic Serhan and Paul Collins
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Short Term Work Available- Recycling Team @ Events

 Workers Needed from now through October

$10 per hour 

With just a few hours of your time, YOU can help make this year’s matriculation zero waste efforts successful, and get paid doing so!

Tufts Dining Services and Facilities Services have teamed up to ensure that meals served at matriculation are both low in waste generation and compost-friendly (e.g. no plastic films to contaminate the compost).

This year’s matriculation ceremonies will take place the week of August 26th. Please fill out an Application  and email it to

Responsibilities are listed on the application.  Pay is $10 hour.

We need many people so please consider getting your friends involved! Thank you!



Sponsored by Facilities Services & Tufts Recycles!

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Tufts Recycles! featured in the summer Periscope newsletter

Thank you to our Human Resources department for publishing this easy to read summary of our most important recycling matters!


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How I Met Your Discards

A look inside R2ePack,  by Stephanie Heatley-Quinlan

Ever wonder who picks up all the stuff left behind in the donation boxes when the students leave for the summer or for that matter where it goes? Tufts Recycles! is here to clear your confusion! It all takes place in steps; after all you’re not the only one who left stuff behind. Starting at 12 Dearborn working all the way up through Latin way, Professors Row to West, Hill and finally Miller, over a two week period, Tufts Recycles! hits them all. Our team is not the only ones that have work to do once students flee for summer. During our cleanup, health and safety checks are made, work orders arranged and large amounts of cleaning are scheduled campus wide. UGL employees work long hard days in the heat vacuuming, sweeping, waxing and turning dorm rooms into a brand new beginning for the next coming scholar. Tufts Facilities Services works hard to ensure that students have a safe new environment to move into come September.  No corner is left untouched, or issue unresolved- a huge thanks is to be spread campus wide to all that put in efforts to maintain and ensure that Tufts produces the happy healthy environment advertised and promised in our brochures.

Cleaning, sorting, and moving what students left behind is no easy process. Every large job starts somewhere and for Tufts Recycles! it all begins with clear trash bags. Clear trash bags with which we stuff our pockets high, taking our bags we start with the large freecycle and clothing bins located in common rooms, lobby ways, and entranceways depending upon the location. A good amount of materials are intermixed so a lot of needs to be sorted. No reusable material gets left behind! Sharp items like pencils, cords, knives, even toys burst open our bags leaving us no choice but to double up the bag and take caution moving it to the truck. After bagging everything in the boxes, we carry our full trash bags to the truck which is either a rented U-Save or a Facilities Services truck. After a day of this job I’d say our crew’s exempt from the gym for the next week! We work our way through every box, hitting every dormitory.  After the final closing date post-commencement, we start going through rooms and floors. The rooms are always a surprise; you truly never know what you’re going to stumble across. We find everything from rooms that are spotless to rooms you’d question whether or not the student actually left. We take foam, sheets, clothes, hangers, storage, rugs, shampoo, sealed food, and mirrors. You hear the cliché saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” the saying couldn’t be more accurate. Tufts is a top college with many interesting students. Just from working here I’ve had coworkers from Utah, Puerto Rico, California, New York, and even Italy!  Most of them fly home and are limited to the airport’s 50 pound luggage weight limit, forcing these students to leave materials behind. The ones that drive are limited to what they can compile in their car. In both situations, materials get left behind, even sometimes brand new things. The rest just needs a little 409 or Clorox to save the day! Our efforts aren’t just for the mere fun of what you’ll come across next, they are to reduce, reuse, recycle and help incoming students save a few bucks.

So now you know what we take; what do we do with it? All of our stuff we find gets transported to our warehouse located on Boston Ave. It is here that we sort and compile everything into specific locations. All of the hangers go to a specific section (we actually have what looks like a mountain,) all of the storage bins go to another, foam, mirrors, cleaning supplies, dining supplies; you get the picture. Throughout the week we work as a team, making sure there is not one room or corner overlooked. Nearing the end of the week, we have gone through all of the dormitories and are left with the houses, where the same process. This is where we separate as the houses are much smaller. About two will go out with our boss, Dawn and our driver to finish up; the rest will work in the warehouse deciphering what is reusable, what goes where, and what should be Freecycled.

Anything that is Freecycled is put aside for a campus event that will take place at the end of August; just before the freshman have their move-in Target trip. Incoming freshman will be encouraged to attend our event and take what they need. This saves you from spending money on a storage container or clothing hangers that cost you about twenty to thirty dollars, depending upon how many you buy. Part of our sorting process is to recycle old and broken, often duct-taped materials and save the best ones for Freecyling. Freecycling saves money and reuses goods (Reuse is the first R!). Just because someone else used it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t work the exact same way and serve the exact same purpose as the shiny new one on a store shelf.

This is not the only reusable event that arises from our move out repack. All clothes found are bagged and thrown into a rented trailer to store and transport all of our findings to Baystate Textiles. This company gives us 6 cents per pound of clothes we give. In the end, this system results in about five hundred dollars that we take and put towards the Tufts Community Service Fund, not to bad! All non-perishable, unopened food is donated to a Somerville food bank that gives groceries to local families less fortunate. All rugs are donated to a nearby Salvation Army that sells them at lower prices in order to provide for people that potentially don’t have the money to spend on new. In the end, anything we can save or reuse Tufts Recycles! puts in the extra effort to do so thus resulting in a lot more good that is seen by the naked eye.


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Move Out at Tufts

repackIt’s that magical time of year again. Spring Fling is over, masses are flocking to Tisch to study for finals, and everyone is freaking out about graduating/grades/summer internships. Amid the chaos, it may slip your mind that you haven’t packed and, upon a cursory inspection — holy celery stalks, I have way too much stuff and I can’t bring it all with me to Rwanda for my service trip!

Lucky for you, TuftsRecycles! and Tufts Facilities Services makes it super easy to unburden yourself of unwanted items during move-out. Here’s our quick-and-dirty guide to a stress-free and sustainable move-out for those living on-campus.


We DO NOT ACCEPT in any of our boxes:

  • Wire hangers and frisbees (please recycle these in green glass/metal/plastics bins!)
  • Dirty or soiled items
  • Open or spoiled food
  • Hazardous materials

We thank you for your cooperation in making our move-out process as streamlined and sustainable as possible. If you have any questions, please ask your RA or send us an e-mail!

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GreenBean Earth Day Challenge!

Hey folks! Our friends over at GreenBean Recycle are throwing another fun giveaway, this time for Earth Day! Between now and April 22nd (Monday), the ten individuals who recycle the most cans and bottles at the GreenBean Reverse Vending Machine will receive a $20 gift card to Barnes and Noble (usable at the Tufts Bookstore!). One of the lucky ten will also win a brand new Tufts hoodie!

Tufts_EarthDay_Poster (1)That’s right: in addition to the 5¢ deposit you earn on each bottle you recycle, you also get a chance to win even more money and swag! It’s like getting paid twice!

(Psssst! Just so you know, the top recycler only has 61 containers so far for this challenge. Will you be the one to beat? Check out the recycling stats for this challenge at your personal homepage on!)


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Lint: To compost or not to compost?

Lint, that dusty grey stuff that collects in your dryer, has recently been garnering some attention…


The EPA lists dryer lint as safe for composting, claiming that only biodegradable/natural fibers from cotton or wool clothing break down in the wash. According to the US Office of Resource Conservation and Recovery, putting polyester or synthetic clothes in the dryer yields “little, if any, lint since these materials do not break down in the washing and drying cycles as natural fibers do.”

… Wait a minute, so only cotton and wool clothing produces lint? Here at TuftsRecycles! we tested this claim. We washed and dried a load of laundry consisting of only fleece blankets, fleece jackets, and nylon clothes – all fabrics made of synthetic materials. Look what we found:

So what’s the big deal…? A recent study published in Environmental Science and Technology found that washing a single fleece produces 2,000 micro-fibers of micro-plastics, tiny bits of polyester and acrylic debris measuring less than 1-millimeter that make up 65% of plastic pollution. The majority of plastic pollution is invisible, but it can carry harmful effects.

Dr. Mark Browne, a post-doc fellow at the University College of Dublin, conducted a study looking at the accumulation of micro-plastic debris on shorelines worldwide. He and his colleagues found that every beach they tested (18 beaches on 6 continents worldwide) contained micro-plastics in the sand, 80% of which was synthetic fibrous material coming from clothing. Nowadays, most clothing is synthetic, and the lint that comes out of drying these clothes is basically a ball of micro-plastics.

So until further research is conducted, we think it’s best to hold off on composting dryer lint and keeping it out of the soil.

 …What do you think?






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How One Company is Recycling and Reusing Plastic Waste in the Ocean

We’ve all seen pictures of sea life caught in six pack rings, and plastic bags washed up on shore.  Not only is it heartbreaking, but it pollutes our environment and is a waste of materials. Have you ever wished that something could be done?

Debris collected from beaches along Tern Island in the French Frigate Shoals.


In fact, company Ecover has stepped up to the plate. Ecover is a Belgium-based manufacturer of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies.  It is partnering with Closed Loop Recycling to turn plastics collected from the ocean into recyclable plastic bottles for cleaning supplies! The new recycled plastic is expected to be sold in 2014.

This is a part of the Waste Free Oceans program which is working to minimize liter floating along Europe’s coastline and encourage recycling. Waste Free Oceans will be providing boats with trawls capable of collecting anywhere from 2 to 8 metric tons of waste per crawl!

Do you know of any similar local programs? Let us know at

Want to learn more? Click here!

Posted in All, Beach & International Coastal Clean-up, Litter, Oceans, Plastics, Reduced, Reuse, Recycle (RRRs) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment