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Recycling Program looking to increase awareness, statistics

While UT’s Recycling Program continues to grow, administrators feel more can be accomplished with some help.

To increase the volume of recyclables, Tom Trimble, associate director of the Student Union, and Diana Ganues, director of building services, recycling and internal moves, are working together to find a recycling container that will work best for the University.

webgreen-logo1They are experimenting with four different containers that are placed in various locations in the Student Union on Main Campus.

They are ErgoCans that are made from 50 percent recycled polypropylene plastic. These cans are made locally by SNSfilms, which is located on Dorr Street across from the University. SNSfilms is experimenting with formulas and hopes in the future to make the containers out of 100 percent recycled material.

This company allows for personalized graphics on the containers; this would be a benefit to the Recycling Department as well as other departments across the campuses.

“The University has a new catchy logo, and we want people to associate it with the recycling program that UT offers,” Ganues said, referring to the blue and gold make green graphic.

“The University has been recycling on campus for many years, but the Recycling Department wants to increase the volume of recyclables,” Ganues said. “We know that there is recyclable material on campus that still goes into the landfill. We set a goal this year to increase recyclables by 5 percent and expect to collect about 30,000 tons a year with this number steadily increasing as people become more aware of the recycling program.”

Another way the University is trying to increase recycling is teaming up with Goodwill of Northwest Ohio to recycle items that students leave behind after moving out in the spring. In previous years, clothing, house wares, furniture and small appliances have been collected, recycled and reused.

During the 2008 football season, recycling paired with ZooTeens, an organization that offers volunteer opportunities to students between the ages of 13 and 17 who have a strong interest in education, animal science and conservation. The ZooTeen volunteers passed out T-shirts with the football schedule and recycling logo on it to help encourage tailgaters and spectators to recycle. “We noticed a slight increase in recyclables from previous years,” Ganues noted.

The University recycles in every building on all campuses. There are containers set out for collecting aluminum, glass and plastic, as well as paper, magazines and catalogs.

In addition, the University recycles other items, including cardboard, batteries, computers, tires, steel, wood, fluorescent light bulbs, ink jet cartridges and vehicle fluids.

For more information or to get involved in the recycling efforts at UT, contact Ganues at 419.530.1444.


6 Responses to “Recycling Program looking to increase awareness, statistics”

  1. John Wilder Says:

    I just spoke to Diana, to congratulate her for the good work, and to get involved.
    To my surprise she and the recycling team have all been laid off.

  2. Marybeth Kurtz Says:

    Our institution is busy promoting a “green” UT but it neglects to tell the campus community that last week the administration decided to abolish the recycling/moving department.

    As recent as November of 2008 the Ohio Department of Natural Resources presented Dr. Jacobs with a check for $41K, which was to support the increase of our recycling efforts on the Health Science Campus. (See article written by Matt Lockwood on 11/25/2008)

    The University also developed a slogan; “Rocket Recycling-Blue and Gold make Green”, they have a logo many of us have seen and there have been email campaigns promoting our Recycling/Moving department. These communications emphasize how we all should think green, how we can all pitch in by recycling paper, plastic, cardboard and many other items. I am very proud to say that I participate in this program.

    I am saddened and embarrassed that my UT is abolishing this essential department. I think that the administration has missed the mark by not continuing to promote and grow the Rocket Recycling program.

    I find it interesting that this article made its way to the utoledo.edu website a week after the fact.

  3. Ashley Gomer Says:

    Next semester we should really oust Jacobs… What happened to the 41K anyway??
    I was just commenting last week on the lack of recycling containers in high traffic areas outdoors. I wasn’t even aware that there were recycling containers in ever building…I’m assuming this means there is one recycling container in each building.

    Smaller containers near each trash can would be more effective, when considering that many people will throw their trash in the first most convenient receptacle they see, rather than searching for the recycling area in the building.

    It is very disappointing to hear of the layoffs in the recycling program, and ridiculous that this article was published after the fact. Does this mean that there will no longer be an opportunity to recycle on campus? Or does it just mean that the “ergocans” will not be purchased?

  4. Peggy Ery Says:

    How can this administration justify a promotion blitz for a recycling program that no longer exists due to termination of that program’s entire staff? I, for one, am scratching my head. Especially in light of the fact that the University recently received grant money toward expanding its recycling program, and even going so far as to purchase with that money a new vehicle for the recycling program’s use (Jacob Corkins, “Additional Recycling Efforts to Start on Health Science Campus,” UT News, Sept. 26, 2008). It should be noted that UT’s recycling program not only collected paper, bottles and cans, it also “recycled” furniture and other household items left behind after students moved out (Cynthia Nowak, “Saving the World One Futon at a Time,” UT News, May 1, 2007). How does it make more sense now to outsource the program, if that is the direction being taken? (I find it hard to believe there is NO more recycling on campus.) UT employees manning the recycling program took pride in their work and promoting the cause; I don’t believe you can put a price tag on UT pride.

  5. Marybeth Kurtz Says:

    After doing some research using UT’s website it appears that a Request for Proposal was sent out on 4/23/09 according to the Purchasing Departments website. If you open the RFP titled “FY09-110 Internal Moving & Recycling Services” you will get a better idea of what the University’s approach is going to be regarding internal moves and recycling. To view the RFP go to utoledo.edu/depts/purchasing/RFPs_Bids/Request_for_Proposal/RFP_Postings.html.

  6. Charles Lehnert Says:

    I would like to address something that is inaccurate in these comments.

    It has been rumored that our recycling program is going away or in some way diminished in its stature or capacity, due to the difficult decision to eliminate two positions involved in the effort. There could be nothing further from the truth.

    As in any good business, college or university all processes must be evaluated to determine the most efficient cost effective way to accomplish these tasks. I believe we have accomplished this new and improved efficiency process.

    UT remains in a leadership role as it relates to recycling. We not only do the typical glass/paper/plastic, we go far beyond. The way we have recycled the stone from the armory for use on Snyder Memorial is just one example. In the days ahead we are in no way looking to reduce our emphasis on recycling. We’ll be working hard to increase our efforts.

    If you anyone is interested in helping, there is a recycling committee that has regular meetings and is always looking for individuals to get involved. You can contact Arlene Fell at 419.383.4418 for meeting times and locations. The group plans special events designed to provide recycling opportunities while educating the campus community on the importance of thinking ‘green.’

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.