Waste

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Recycle – Recycle whenever possible, but to really have an environmental impact, stop (or minimize) purchasing single use containers. While we like to think recycling is a virtuous, environmental act, the reality is it’s an imperfect process driven by market economics rather than environmental ethos.

  • Allegheny has single-stream recycling, which means you can mix all plastic, metal, paper, and cardboard into one recycling bin. Click here to see detailed recycling signage.
    • Plastic – Any plastic item numbered 1 or 2 is recyclable on campus. Remove the lid, empty excess liquids or food and rinse if needed.
    • Metal – Aluminum, steel, and tin food cans, empty aerosol cans, aluminum foil trays, pans or sheets, metal lids. Empty excess liquids or food and rinse if needed.
    • Paper – Almost all paper can be recycled. White and colored paper, newspaper, glossy magazines, phonebooks, junk mail, paper bags, packing paper, even envelopes with the plastic windows are all recyclable. Don’t worry about removing staples – they’ll get sorted out in the recycling process. Do not place shredded paper in the mixed recycling bins.
    • Cardboard – Corrugated and pressed cardboard is recyclable. Collapse large boxes before recycling to make it easier for our Housekeeping team. Remember to recycle cardboard items such as tissue boxes and all packaging for food and other items. Do not recycle cardboard that is coated with plastic or wax such as juice boxes or larger beverage cartons; or cardboard that has absorbed oils (pizza boxes are a classic example, although you can often recycle the clean top of the box).
  • Ensure the recycling in your building is central, clear (well-labeled) and well used. If there are issues, contact the Sustainability Coordinator.
  • Compost whenever it’s possible (mostly in the dining halls and at catered events).

Minimize Your Waste

  • If you buy lunch on campus, consider using your own cup and a reusable takeout container. You’ve likely seen students carrying these green plastic, partitioned containers. Adopting these in Brooks has annually saved Allegheny over $10,000 and prevented 5 Baldwin dorm rooms full of trash from going to the landfill every year. New this year, you can also enjoy reusable takeout in McKinley’s. You can purchase extremely reasonably priced reusable items, including takeout boxes, Allegheny “Gator Green” custom stainless steel water bottles, insulated coffee mugs, and utensil sets, from the sustainability coordinator.
  • Unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists to reduce junk mail waste.
  • Purchase sustainable office supplies (ex. Refillable pens)
  • Purchase sustainably-made office supplies (ex. Items made from recycle materials).
  • Create a “Communal-sharing” program consisting of items that anyone is allowed to use to reduce individual need for each item (stapler, microwave, kettle, etc.).
  • If you have unneeded items, donate them to downtown organizations or post your item to Allegheny’s Garage Sale or MyAllegheny to find it a new home. Office supplies that are unneeded in one department can be put to good use in another office as long as they’re offered. For example, the Physical Plant found new homes for dozens of empty three ring binders by posting and inviting anyone to come pick them up for use in their office. Physical Plant prevented considerable waste and other offices prevented the costs to purchase brand new binders.  Likewise, if you are in need of office supplies, check the garage sale website before purchasing a brand new item

Electronic Waste (e-waste)

  • Ensure electronic waste, hazardous waste and toxic materials are disposed of in an environmentally responsible and appropriate manner.
    • There are e-waste recycling cabinets in Brooks lobby and across from the Post Office window in the Campus Center where you can recycle CFLs (spiral light bulbs), batteries, CDs, DVDs, chargers, cords, cell phones, and ink cartridges.
    • For any lab or hazardous waste, contact Sandy Sandieson, Environmental Compliance Coordinator at sandieson@allegheny.edu.