Welcome to a new semester, Huskers! If you’ve been on campus over the past few weeks, you may have noticed a change in recycling and waste management in select buildings. In December, nearly 80 new grant-funded waste and recycling stations were installed in eight buildings as part of UNL’s recycling pilot project. These stations contain receptacles for paper, plastic and aluminum, and landfill materials and are located in centralized, high-traffic locations near restrooms, stairs and elevators, and building entrances. Image-centric graphics positioned on top of the stations clearly display what items are accepted in each stream and are intended to take the guesswork out of recycling.
The eight pilot buildings, listed below, were chosen to represent both City and East campuses, as well as the functional differences found in buildings across UNL:
- Alexander Building
- Andersen Hall
- Canfield Administration
- Hamilton Hall
- Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and Van Brunt Visitors Center
- Agricultural Hall
- Filley Hall and Food Industry Complex
- Hardin Hall
In addition to standardizing the appearance of recycling on campus, a new process for collection is also being piloted. During the project, UNL Custodial Services staff monitor and service both landfill and recyclable materials from the stations, rather than the responsibility for emptying recycling containers being left to a few unofficial individuals within a building. In the pilot buildings, all faculty, staff, students, visitors and guests are asked to take their waste items to the nearest station as Custodial staff are not emptying deskside trash cans in individual offices and cubicles.
The pilot project is intended to make recycling easier and more efficient at UNL by providing better infrastructure and education for recycling on campus. Centralized waste collection has been highly successful among our Big Ten and other higher education peers, and we believe it can make a positive impact here at UNL with the support of our faculty, staff and students. It is our hope that this project will be a great first step in meeting the goal of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2030, as outlined in the Environment, Sustainability and Resilience Master Plan, as well as contribute to the growing culture of sustainability at Nebraska.
Check out the recently updated UNL Recycling site for additional information about the pilot project and engage with us on social media to learn more!
Photo Credit to Craig Chandler