- Why all the fuss and emphasis about recycling? Do I have to do it? I know plenty of people who don't.
- Can I place the entire contents of an old file cabinet in the green or blue All-In-One recycling bin?
- Where can I find a complete list of what can and can't be recycled?
- What happens to the revenue Waste Management obtains from selling University recyclables?
- Can I bring recyclables and trash from home and drop off at the WTRF?
- Do bottles and cans for recycling have to be cleaned?
- Why can't I recycle egg cartons or paper issues and towels? They are paper aren't they?
- How do I safely dispose of confidential papers?
- Why are those white trash trucks used to collect bottles and cans and cardboard?
- Why am I required to report to the office or stop on the weigh scale when I drop off materials (or pick something up) at the Recycling Facility (WTRF)?
Why all the fuss and emphasis about recycling? Do I have to do it? I know plenty of people who don't.
The University Recycling Policy (approved in 1999 by the Chancellor's Executive Advisory Council) can be found at http://www.umass.edu/recycle/recycle_policy.html. In addition, Massachusetts environmental regulations require the University to recycle or face potential penalties. But beyond the mandates, think about the quarter million dollar annual savings to the University from recycling, the fact that products made from recycled materials require 1/17th the energy consumption of those made from virgin raw materials, and, the fact that sending unwanted “waste” materials for recycling creates 9 times more jobs than sending the same waste to a landfill. Is it smart? Yes! Is it a socially and morally responsible act to recycle? Yes! By recycling, are you demonstrating concern and respect for yourself, your children, your planet? Yes! Is it hard to recycle? Most people say “NO – IT ONLY TAKES A MINUTEMAN!!
Can I place the entire contents of an old file cabinet in the green or blue All-In-One recycling bin?
In Academic and Administrative offices, once you have culled plastic transparencies and large metal clips or hanging folder frames (staples and small paper clips are okay), you may place all the rest of the file contents in either your blue or green single stream recycling bin. See the Office Clean-Out Chart for details.
Second, look for a copy of the UMass Recycling Guidelines or ask for the Single Stream Recycling bookmark in your office building (Office Manager) or residence hall (RD/AD).
All revenue obtained from the sale of University recyclables is directed to Physical Plant accounts where it offsets some of the operating costs of the waste management program. Over the past three years OWM has generated an average of $150,000 per year in revenues from the sale of recyclable commodities.
Waste from homes or businesses should NOT be deposited in the refuse or recycling bins at your place of work (office/shop/classroom etc.). No refuse from home or business should be brought to the WTRF. However, because they do not result in a net cost to the University, the following items may be brought to the WTRF: scrap metal, corrugated cardboard, office paper, books, laser toner cartridges, and electronics. But please call ahead for instructions.
Bottles and cans should be empty and free of problem residues (pasty food residues, milk). A light rinsing and shaking with water or scraping with a rubber spatula may be required to accomplish this. OWM cautions not to waste water (especially hot water) rinsing food and beverage containers. By doing so, you will reduce - even cancel out, the energy and resource conservation benefits of recycling. Where feasible, use old rinse water leftover after washing dishes to clean bottles and cans.
The answer is twofold: First, contamination: while most individuals might ensure that their egg cartons are free of food residues, the likelihood that a significant percentage would not has led most paper processors to exclude these paper wastes from lists of acceptable materials.Secondly, there is little or no demand by the paper industry for these very low grade paper wastes which are comprised of poor quality fiber that is difficult to re-use.
If your office generates significant amounts of confidential documents, then place material in cardboard box or wheeled cart provided upon request by OWM, mark the container "CONFIDENTIAL FOR RECYCLING" and call OWM at 545-9615 to ask for special pick-up. You may also deliver your confidential documents to the WTRF, M-F 7:00 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Your papers will be shredded at the WTRF and then recycled. Please make an effort to identify confidential or sensitive documents for shredding. Do not simply make a wholesale transfer of the file cabinet contents into the confidential waste cart or box. If you require a certificate of destruction, then contact OWM about private vendors on state contract that can provide a completely secure destruction program.
In addition to two large white refuse packer trucks, OWM operates two other packer trucks which, while built as refuse collection vehicles, have been converted and dedicated to the collection of Single Stream recyclables and Corrugated Cardboard. Not to worry! Your recyclables ARE headed for recycling!
Why am I required to report to the office or stop on the weigh scale when I drop off materials (or pick something up) at the Recycling Facility (WTRF)?
The OWM is responsible for tracking the flow of material into and out of the Recycling Facility and to and from the Campus as a whole. This is done for several reasons. Once material is deposited at the WTRF site, it becomes our responsibility – our asset or liability. If a hazardous material is improperly deposited or labeled, remediation costs or fines may be incurred by the University. If valuable materials are removed by unauthorized individuals, the University loses revenue and OWM must account for this. OWM staff are therefore obligated to exercise control over who may deposit/remove which material and where. Furthermore, OWM uses the weights of materials flowing through the facility to track the performance of the recycling and waste management program. It also uses the scale generated records of trips to the WTRF by various departments to monitor the degree to which various customers require our services as well as their needs for access on different days of the week/hours of the day/seasons of the year.