An upgraded recycling program is underway at the West Lafayette campus to encourage recycling and reduce waste sent to landfills. Two types of bins in some buildings have new signage containing illustrated examples of recyclable and non-recyclable items, as well as QR codes that link to additional resources.
This program is an initiative that supports the 2020 Physical Facilities Sustainability Master Plan by Campus Planning, Architecture and Sustainability (CPAS). The plan calls for an annual recycling rate of 50% of on-campus waste by 2025.
“The signage is designed to make it easy for students, faculty, staff and visitors to understand what to put in each bin,” said Tony Gilnd, Director of Sustainability. “Combining small actions can create a big impact, and that is what we hope to achieve with this project.”
CPAS has worked with the Tippecanoe Recycling and Solid Waste Management District and local recyclers to coordinate what items are currently recyclable. A list of items that can be recycled and items that should be disposed of in landfills is available on our Sustainability website.
CPAS also collaborated with several other departments within the physical facilities administration organization, including Building Services, Grounds, and College Surplus. Because all these groups are involved in the treatment of recyclables and waste produced.
“Our custodians are our eyes and ears on campus buildings,” said Ras Wetri, Director of Building Services. “Their work is essential to maintaining a healthy environment for our students, faculty, staff and visitors. Part of that work is the proper disposal and recycling of trash from our buildings.”
Signs are now posted in 15 high-traffic academic buildings. The goal is to add signs to more buildings this semester. Our Sustainability department measures certain data, such as the number of times a QR code is scanned, as a way of evaluating the effectiveness and usefulness of our enhancements.
The governing body supports the university through secure, reliable and innovative services. Implementing programs to increase recycling and reduce waste is just one of the many ways organizations strengthen Purdue.
Questions about recycling and feedback about the program can be sent to the Sustainability Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.