By: Bruce Cahoon, chair of the UVa-Wise Stewardship Committee
You may have noticed new recycling containers have appeared in our academic buildings and residential halls. These are part of a new standardized campus-wide recycling system created by the UVa-Wise Stewardship Committee, executed by Facilities Management and supported by Chancellor Henry, who formed the UVa-Wise Stewardship committee in January 2015 to consider and address the environmental impact of our campus.
Our first initiative was to create a recycling system to decrease the amount of garbage we send to the local landfill. Several departments and/or individuals in our campus community were already recycling, but with many different systems in place, it was often unknown if recycling containers were present in any given building, who was emptying them, or the collective impact of these efforts. To remedy these shortcomings, we developed a new system that uses clearly identifiable recycling containers located in every building and a centralized removal process to ensure the delivery of recyclables to county facilities.
We ask that the campus community recycle three materials: mixed paper, aluminum and plastic containers. Mixed paper is all office paper, shredded paper, manila envelopes and folders, magazines, newspaper and paperboard such as shoe boxes and cereal boxes. Aluminum includes most beverage cans and aluminum foil. Plastics include number 1 and number 2, which are most plastic beverage containers. If you are unsure, check the bottom and you’ll find a number inside the universal recycling symbol. Finally, we ask that you separate the recyclables into the corresponding marked receptacles.
By the end of September, containers should be located on every floor of every building. We ask you to please notice them, use them and encourage your friends, classmates and colleagues to take that moment to recycle these precious resources. And finally, we ask for your patience and input in the coming weeks, as this system will require updating as we continue to learn best practices.