UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Too many plastic bags, at UNCG Landfill on the Lawn

Photo of Landfill on the Lawn event on campusAs part of the annual Recyclemania competition the UNCG Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR) put on another Landfill on the Lawn event on campus – this time in the Quad area. This year’s event focus was changed from highlighting what could have been recycled in the trash to what should have been left out of the recycling.

The reason for change in venue and focus was to target an area that has been producing high amounts of contamination in their recycling. One week’s worth of recycling from the Quad was dumped onto tarps. Ben Kunka with the OWRR and Chad Carwein with the UNCG Office of Sustainability dressed into Tyvek bio-hazard suits and sorted through the 2,000 lbs. of material. The odor and sight of the material drew campus community members (mostly students) to the event where a table with educational materials and Recyclemania promotional items awaited them.

Spartan Village and Quad residence halls have had higher than normal amounts of contamination in their recycling. The main contaminants reported by the recycling facility and then verified in this last event are plastic bags, food waste and Styrofoam.

The Recycling office notes that all recycling bins have labels that outline what is acceptable. While the guidelines state that Plastics numbered 1-7 are acceptable, the city’s recycling facility does not want Styrofoam, film plastics, and plastic shopping bags. Plastic shopping bags were found to be the primary problem at this event..

Recyclemania is a national competition that compares how university recycling programs are performing. From Feb. 2 to March 29, UNCG competed in the recycling competition between more than 400 colleges and universities across North America. UNCG in the competition currently has a 28 percent recycling rate – up from 20 percent the year before; 28 percent would put UNCG in the middle of national competition division (124th out of 252 schools).

This year’s Landfill on the Lawn event was designed not only to encourage folks to recycle more but to also recycle correctly.

If you are unsure about an item you have to dispose of is recyclable or not, call 336-334-5192 or email recycle@uncg.edu for more information.