Bucknell Recycling History

Bucknell has recycled as far back as most can remember. Recycling rates exceeded state goals in the 1990's but then in 2000 the rate dropped below these levels.  In 2003, Facilities and the Environmental Club took steps to revitalize the program.  Residential Life and RHA joined the effort in 2006.  The programs that have since been implemented have resulted in improved trends to about a 20% recycling rate until the year 2011.  In July 2012, Bucknell made a major change to Single Stream Recycling.  It is hoped that the change will propel recycling rates past the plateaued 20% up to over 60%.

Single Stream Recycling

What is it?

Single-stream recycling is a system in which all recyclable materials -- fiber (newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, catalogs, magazines and junk mail) and containers (glass, steel, aluminum and plastic) -- are placed, unsorted, in one recycling bin and sorted by state-of-the-art processing equipment at a Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

What does it mean at Bucknell?

It means all recyclables can go in one container and many items that were considered "not recyclable" now will be considered "recyclable."

For example, paper towels and all plastics (#1 through #7) are recyclable. Basically, everything will be acceptable for recycling except organics (food/animal waste).  Minimal food residue on items is also acceptable.

Inside waste containers will be changed to offer two choices: "Single Stream Recycling" or "Trash."

To ensure everyone enthusiastically recycles, Bucknell changed out the building trash cans to be consistently labeled Single Stream Recycling or Trash.  In the near future, Single Stream Recycling cans will be colored blue and trash will be colored beige.

Why Single Stream?

Single Stream promises to make recycling easier for campus population and dramatically increase the recycling rate.  It's less expensive; it's more green; and it's easier. 

For more information, contact Merritt Pedrick or John Testa in Facilities at 7‑1911.


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