Thanks to the University of Miami’s Green U initiative and because of new technology at local landfills that separate recyclable items, students will no longer need to place bottles, cans and paper products into separate containers.
“Before, everything was segregated. For instance, in the residential towers and the village, the containers held only bottles and cans,” said Ken Capezzuto, director of Environmental Health and Safety. “Now, we’ve converted it into single stream so you can put things like phone books, magazines and cereal boxes into the same containers as everything else.”
As part of the program, the university is pairing concrete recycle bins with more than 160 trash cans across campus to create recycling centers for bottles and cans at spots with high traffic throughout the day.
Since the start of the Green U program in 2005, the UM students, staff and faculty involved have been working hard to make the university more eco-friendly.
There are signs of the new initiative all over campus. The purchasing department has sponsored a toner and battery recycling drop-off in the University Center, the residential colleges have battery drop-offs at the front desks and the libraries and computer labs now have recycling bins for paper.
“I truly think that people are realizing environmental changes don’t have to be drastic, that little steps in one’s daily life can lead to bigger changes,” said Ian McKeown, a liaison between the university and the director of Environmental Health and Safety.
According to McKeown, the taskforce is getting ready to start the second phase of this upgrade. The upgrade consists of creating recycling centers at the places that have less foot traffic and converting the office recycle containers into single stream containers too.
“Of course this goes beyond recycling, but it’s a start,” McKeown said.
What You Can Recycle
- Aluminum/plastic, food and beverage containers (without food & caps)
- Glass containers (unbroken)
- All bottles and cans (empty, without caps)
- Magazines/catalogs/newspapers/telephone books
- Cereal boxes (empty) and shoeboxes
- Shampoo bottles (empty, without caps)
Do Not Recycle
- Food and wet trash
- Tissues, paper towels that had food contact
- Pizza boxes
- Plastic bags
- Mirrors/window or auto glass
- Light bulbs
- Coat hangers
- Glass cookware/pots and pans
- Electronic devices