New bins on campus should make it easier to recycle aluminum, paper and plastic under a new campaign launched by the Office of Sustainability. The project, in partnership with the Office of Communications and Marketing, was funded by a $35,000 grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.
“A few of our student workers saw some on other campuses and asked for them here. We have eight new ones so far, but we have plans to purchase more. We hope to eventually have one per building,” Sustainability Manager DeLayne Miller said.
According to the Tennessee Tech Sustainable Campus Committee, students approved an $8 “green fee” in 2005 to purchase over 60 recycling bins around campus.
“The goal is a bigger recycling plan, to go from 12 percent to 25 percent, because when we recycle, we don’t have to pay landfill costs,” Miller said.
The university is recycling more than 350 tons of paper, cardboard, metals, aluminum cans, fluorescent tubes and ballasts, tires, wood pallets, yard waste and plastic each year, according the office’s website.
“The recycled materials are weighed and so is the trash that goes to the landfill. We have to pay to dump in a landfill, where recycling is free,” Miller said.
Miller said some indoor bins are labeled “landfill” instead of “trash” to better inform students where their materials go.
For more information about recycling on Tennessee Tech’s campus, visit https://www.tntech.edu/planning-and-finance/facilities/sustainability/or contact Miller.