Green Bean Earth Day Challenge 2014!

by Clayton Woolery


Earth Day is important for everyone, and this year there’s even more reason to participate! The best recyclers will be entered to win several amazing prizes; anyone with access to large amounts of empty glass and aluminum containers (ones found in other recycling receptacles are fair game) could have a great shot at winning. So, get to the Campus Center soon and be a part of the Green Bean Earth Day Challenge!

The Green Bean Machine (located in the Mayer Campus Center) is a recycling resource for college students that rewards users with 5 cents for each bottle or aluminum can recycled.  Check it out and start making money for recycling!

Click here for blog posts about Green Bean!

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Final Recyclemania Scores!

by M.T. Snyder


After a heated 8 weeks of competition, Recyclemania has come to a close with a bang as the final scores for all of the dorms and houses have been recorded. So, without further ado, we present to you the Recyclemania 2014 winners! In the dormitory category, the gold goes to:


And in the house category, with a surprising four way tie, the winners are:


Thank you all for participating in Recyclemania 2014, signing pledges to recycle, and helping Tufts finish strong in the national competition. Be sure to keep up the hard work and good recycling as the semester winds down! Take a peek at the charts below to see the scores of every dorm and house.

dormfinal housesfinal

For individual floor grades, please click below.

RecyclemaniaDorms 2014

RecyclemaniaHouses 2014

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What’s in Your Trash?

by M.T. Snyder

Always so tall, dark, and mysterious, the trashcan of a dormitory is truly an enigma, chock full of surprises and secrets lying just below the surface layer.  Being the naturally inquisitive students that we are here at Tufts Recycles, we decided to break open the trashcan’s outer layer and find what actually lies inside that large bin.

On March 16th, just before spring break left those trashcans oh so lonely, Tufts Recycles interns arrived early in the morning to the Save That Stuff facility where we conducted a waste sort of the trash from one dorm. Our objectives were to determine how well the recycling and trash were sorted by students and what specific products were frequently found in the waste stream. All of the waste from the 92 rooms in the mixed year hall was collected and totaled 100.47 lbs, including recycling.

We set up various stations where we sorted each trash bag by hand into paper recyclables, commingled plastic recyclables, organics, and trash. As suspected, we found that Hodgdon’s carry-out containers, the majority of which are recyclable, were a large contaminant in the trash, but to the surprise of many, or perhaps just me, the greatest unnecessary addition to the trash was the presence of liquids. In all, 27% of the trash stream by weight was liquid waste, which can easily be diverted.

At the end of our waste sort, we came to the surprising conclusion that 72% of the total waste found in the trash could have been diverted from the trash stream.  That’s one trashcan full of secrets that need to be passed on to the proper recipient (the recycling bins in this case). Not to mention, the additional poundage must take a toll on the trashcan’s health when really all the weight of our waste should be shared among the beautiful trio of waste containers found everywhere on campus.

So for all you lovebirds out there frolicking in this beautiful spring weather, please take a moment when sorting your trash to empty out those liquids and spread the love to the containers who deserve it most, because in the end who wants to see a pitifully empty and sorrowfully blue paper bin? It just breaks our hearts at Tufts Recycles. So, just pour those liquids down the drain, let go of all your regrets, and give those green and blue bins a chance!

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by Mina Brewer




The winning dorm and houses this round were…


Residences rounding out the bottom are Houston, Haskell, and Start House. Round two grading starts now- plenty of time to climb the ranks!

Full scores:



For more detailed scores, click the links below:

2014 DORM SCORES                                         2014 HOUSE SCORES

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Recyclemania Update: Week 3

by M.T. Snyder

Tufts Recycles! is currently working to promote Recyclemania, a national competition that runs from Feb. 2 to April 8. The Per Capita Classic division has 312 competing schools and Tufts has moved up from 65th Week 3. Tufts Recycles! also has been grading dorms on their recycling to foster competition on campus. On March 2, the second round of dorm grading will be finished so updated results will be available to see how the dorms are ranked. For more information on the grades from round one and Recyclemania in general, check out our article in the Tufts Daily at

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The Freedom to Freecycle!

by Colby Sameshima

It’s that time of the year, where your laundry basket is overflowing, and you’re realizing that maybe you don’t actually need the multiple lamps you bought at the beginning of the school year. Being a model citizen, you decide you will bring the items to goodwill. But you have that french paper and that problem set, so that will have to be saved for another day. You pile up the clothes in a random nook of your room, and the clothing stays there, forgotten, until the end of the school year when you are forced to get rid of it amidst the chaos of moving out. The lamp collects dust in that dark corner under your bed, lonely and waiting, to shed its wonderful light.

What if, instead, there was a convenient place for you to take your clothes, lamps, and other random objects, for someone else to use? What if this was somewhere on campus?  Or maybe even…in your dorm?!?! FREECYCLE it!

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 10.45.05 AM

Wren, Haskell and South Halls all have a new addition to their swanky decor…Freecycle areas. Simply place your used items, such as clothes, lamps, dishes, carpets/rugs, fans, trash cans, electronics, hangers, shoes, books, and bags in these designated enclaves, and take anything awesome you see, for FREE. The program will be expanded to new dorms as the opportunity arises and in the meantime, hopefully you are lucky to have a friend who lives in one of these dorms to visit and “shop.” Look for the freecycle areas in the lobbies of Wren, Haskell and South. Other dorms, such as Tilton, have taken upon their own versions of freecycle, in the form of a shoebox. So look around your dorm lobby, for there just might be a freecycle area near you.  Tell your friends and happy shopping!

South Hall                                                     Wren Hall

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Confused about recycling at Hodgdon?


by Mina Brewerhodgdonposter


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!


by Mina BrewerNEW LIFT THE LID


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

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Lift The Lid!

by Mina Brewer

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.

photo 1photo 2

photo 3

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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

by Dawn Quirk

 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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