- Ohio University will leverage grants to bump its diversion efforts through a project to reduce the number of outdoor campus bins from 315 trash bins and 13 recycling bins, to about 200 dual-purpose waste sites. The campus will also be able to tap into a new, local single-stream sorting facility, reports The Athens Messenger.
- To date, OU Campus Recycling has converted 70 landfill bins to recycling bins, with support from a $4,500 Waste Management/Keep America Beautiful Think Green grant that paid for new lids with recycling graphics. The rest of the co-located recycling stations will be installed with the help of a $31,170 grant from the Ohio EPA and $27,500 in Campus Recycling funds.
- Ohio University is only one of the 39 recipients nationwide of the Waste Management/Keep America Beautiful Think Green Grant.
The single-stream facility and co-location models are intended to simplify recycling, especially on a campus where sustainability has been a priority for decades. In 1991, Ohio University became the first university in the state to launch a recycling department.
The co-location initiative is intended to have multiple and far-reaching benefits, said Andrew Ladd, recycling and refuse manager at Ohio University.
"The project will reduce landfill, increase recycling opportunities, serve as a powerful teaching tool, and grow the culture of sustainability at Ohio University and across Southeast Ohio," Ladd told The Athens Messenger.
The outdoor bin conversion is kickstarting at the same time as RecycleMania, an annual competition between colleges and universities (which coincidentally started at Ohio University) to boost recovery rates. The event has since caught on nationwide and in Canada, illustrating that colleges are ideal locations to rev up momentum for recycling. Not only are campuses hotspots to pump the sustainability movement, especially through healthy competition, but they accumulate massive waste volumes – mega tons of which are being diverted.