CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University’s Campus Recycling has changed what items it will accept in recycling bins on campus, based on changes in what local recycling vendors will accept. A list of those changes is available online at http://tiny.cc/r-guide.
Because OSU uses several recycling vendors, the changes are slightly different than those recently announced by the city of Corvallis, but the reason for the changes is the same - local recycling services base their acceptance list on what external buyers will purchase. Recently, that market has shifted away from certain items that were previously considered desirable.
“While these changes present new challenges for recycling at OSU,” said John Deuel, Campus Recycling manager, “it is also an opportunity to refocus our attention to what actually is being recycled and to look for more effective ways to keep materials out of the landfill, particularly by reducing and reusing more.”
Andrea Norris, marketing and development coordinator for Campus Recycling and Surplus Property, said because the market is volatile, the changes may not be permanent, and the cost of replacing all the extensive recycling signage on campus is prohibitive, so for now, they’re suggesting that campus staff and students consult their online recycle guides at http://tiny.cc/r-guide.
“Campus Recycling will gradually collect our top priority bin signage, mostly for paper and bottles and cans, and replace them with corrected signs as time allows,” Norris said. “This temporary fix will be done in a way that addresses the need for the new information quickly, while also saving natural resources and labor costs.”
Campus Recycling does intend to roll out new signage across campus in the future. They were on track last year to create newly standardized signage across campus, but intentionally put this project on hold after learning of the coming changes in acceptance guidelines. They are in the process of developing a communications plan to launch in the fall around education to students and employees about the new guidelines.
While a list of items that have been removed from the acceptance list is available here: http://fa.oregonstate.edu/feature-story/recycling-has-changed, Norris recommends focusing on the acceptance list instead, because it’s shorter and easier to remember.
“The good news is that most of what we could recycle before, we can still recycle now,” Norris said. “Markets still exist for these items and these materials are being made into new products, which both reduces material going to the landfill and reduces the environmental impact of producing new products.”
About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 34,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.