Recycling at UMass went through a rapid expansion in the early 1990s as the state government instituted a series of bans on the disposal of recyclable materials and the Town of Amherst informed the University that it would sustain financial penalties for delivering trash to its landfill containing >5% recyclables. The Physical Plant responded by creating the Office of Waste Management and developing a waste management Master Plan for the University. Implementation of this plan led to the construction of a $1 million dollar recyclables processing & transfer facility (AKA the WRTF - Waste Recovery and Transfer Facility), and the purchase of several hundred thousand dollars worth of recycling trucks and collection containers needed to provide campus-wide access to recycling services.
The University recycling program was designed to make recycling convenient and easy to understand for students, faculty, staff and visitors to the Amherst campus. Bright, color-coded recycling bins are stationed in every office, lab, classroom, meeting room, cafeteria and dorm room within the campus's 194 buildings. To facilitate participation by all, recyclable paper and container materials may be commingled (mixed together) in two or three categories depending whether the location is an office or a dorm, classroom, public space (see explanation below). Recycling bins are emptied on a weekly or twice weekly schedule.
Departmental organization can be seen on the OWM Organizational Chart. For contact information, see the Contact Info page.
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