Program change enhances university's recycling success

A type of “one-stop shopping” is making recycling at Shippensburg University easier to do and resulted in an increase in recycling of various items.

The university began single-stream recycling, also known as single-sort recycling, at the start of the Fall semester. Under the previous recycling program, glass bottles, aluminum cans, steel containers, and plastic containers had to be separated. The new system allows all members of the campus community to drop all those items into the same blue containers, which can be found on every floor of every building. Mixed paper and newspaper can also be recycled together.

According to Robert Koch, custodial services manager, “We also are now recycling additional items that we didn’t before like paper boards and tin cans.”

Single-stream recycling is not only cost effective but is very popular. Since August, the university has recycled:

  • 9,747 pounds of plastic compared to 1,145 pounds from the same time period last year
  • 37,339 pounds of paper compared to 35, 750 pounds from the same time period last year
  • 3,278 pounds of green, brown, and clear glass combined, compared to 694 pounds from the same time period last year
  • 330 pounds of aluminum cans compared to 226 pounds from the same time period last year.

“It’s the new trend in the industry to go single stream. It’s more economical and the feedback has been extremely positive,” says Koch.