Monday, September 24, 2012

UIC Recycling Program Improvements

In an effort to further improve the UIC Recycling Program, the Office of Sustainability has installed new recycling bins throughout the Residence Halls and five buildings in the College of Medicine, bringing all state-run UIC buildings into the modern campus recycling program! These bins are flashier and are also better suited for recycling. With lids that correspond to the bin’s purpose (e.g. the paper bin has a lid with a slot, instead of a wide opening), even the design of the bins has the potential to help increase recycling rates. These bins are also brighter, which makes them easier to locate throughout buildings. In addition, the number of trash bins throughout College of Medicine buildings has been decreased in order to promote more recycling.

The Office of Sustainability, in coordination with the installment of new equipment, is also trying to develop better ways of labeling bins. We have created new posters and stickers, which will be placed on and around all the new recycling bins. These new labeling materials will make recycling stations more apparent; they will also attempt to educate members of the UIC community. The posters provide detailed descriptions of what types of materials belong in each bin so that people recycle correctly, and are also better educated in the future. You can see the new posters in the photo below:

Currently, the installation is still being completed. The last steps of the installation will be placing label stickers on the new equipment that has already been installed and delivering side saddles, which are small bins that hang off regular desk-side recycling bins and are used for trash. Once this has been completed, the new equipment and labeling materials will be completely integrated.

This project was funded entirely by grants received from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). DCEO is an organization that works to raise Illinois’ profile as a business destination, and to provide a foundation for prosperity for Illinois. They provide infrastructure building and job training efforts, and (to our benefit) administer federal grants. With the help of DCEO, we have been able to take another step in making recycling an integral part of the UIC community.

The installation has gone well so far despite some of the challenges that were encountered. We have already received positive feedback on the new posters, and we look forward to completing the rest of the installation.

As always, we welcome feedback, questions, and concerns; if you have any, contact Thanks for recycling!

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