Though the campus has had a recycling agreement with area companies and people have had blue recycle cans in their offices for three years now, the new UC Merced Recycles program will help make sure more items are reused instead of winding up in the county landfill.
Bob Avalle, associate director of facilities management, estimates that the campus produced 155 tons of trash this past year - not including construction refuse - and that about 67 tons of that were diverted through recycling.
All the rest was going right to our county landfill, Avalle said. Now, it will be the opposite. Almost everything will be recycled.
Fliers and posters around campus show exactly what can go in the blue cans or in the bins and totes around campus, including plastics, aluminum foil and even junk mail.
The robust recycling program helps UC Merced hold to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards that keep it green.
We project ourselves as a sustainable campus, Avalle said. We’re really committed to that.
Here’s a list of acceptable recyclable materials, which must be rinsed clean and dry:
- Books, paperback only
- Boxes and chipboard packaging
- Cereal boxes
- Colored paper
- Computer paper
- Non-metallic gift wrap
- Magazines and catalogues
- Newspapers and inserts
- Office paper
- Shredded paper (must be bagged)
- Tissue paper (from gifts)
- Junk mail
Avalle led a kickoff celebration for the program on the first day of classes Sept. 28, including free sodas served from big recycling bins.
We hope that taking a soda out of the bins will help everybody remember that those cans need to go back in, he explained.