Here at UNTHSC, one of the ways that we are working towards diverting our waste from landfills is by recycling. We have waste/co-mingled recycling receptacles located throughout campus that is picked up by our custodial staff and placed in the appropriate dumpsters. Waste Management handles our campuses waste and co-mingled recycling. Click on the buttons below for more information.
Why Should I Recycle?
Sustainability means that we are using our resources in ways that are beneficial both now and in the future. Recycling is a way in which we can use and reuse our resources, and there are many benefits to recycling including:
- Reducing the Need for Landfill Space. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, Americans generated about 250 million tons of waste in 2010, and only a little over 34% of it was recycled. The waste that is not recycled is a huge burden on our cities (reference).
- Pollution Prevention. Many of the items that we dispose of have harmful chemicals and pollutants in them such as light bulbs, batteries, and electronic waste items. By proper recycling, we can prevent harmful chemicals from polluting the landfill sites.
- Energy and Resource Conservation. It requires less energy and natural resources to produce goods from recycled materials than virgin materials resulting in conservation of resources and savings. Using less energy also results in fewer harmful greenhouse gases from entering the environment.
- Recycling Creates Jobs. Take a moment and Google “recycling in Fort Worth”. Recycling creates jobs and can boost the economy.
Recycling on CampusCo-mingled Recycling
Comingle means that all recyclable items can be collected in one container rather than having to sort each item by type. UNTHSC offers co-mingled recycling services for our campus community. Receptacles for trash and recycling are located throughout campus.
- Plastic Containers #1-7– look for the recycle sign and number; some types of #6 are not accepted such as Styrofoam
- Paper Products such as magazines, office paper, newspaper, brown paper bags, junk mail, and phonebooks
- Paperboard such as frozen dinner boxes, cereal boxes, ink cartridge boxes, milk cartons, etc.
- Cardboard (broken down)
- Glass Bottles and Jars
- Aluminum Cans
- Tin or Steel Cans such as canned goods
* Please rinse items that contained food before placing in co-mingled recycling.
Items NOT included in the recycling are:
- Paper towels
- Glassware from labs
- Plastic Bags
- Plastic Wraps
- Food Waste
Facilities Management has mini blue recycling bins available for offices and other smaller common areas such as printing workstations. To request a blue bin, please call ext 2181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Any item that is accepted by our co-mingled recycling program can go in these bins (see above). Please do NOT include batteries, cell phones, ink cartridges, etc. These items are recycled under our Recycling 2.0 program (see below).Cardboard Boxes
Cardboard boxes take up lots of room in the recycling dumpster if not broken down properly. Please follow the following procedures for cardboard boxes:
1. Empty the box of any packaging material, paper, etc. (if possible, recycle the contents)
2. Break down the box.
3. Place the box on top or on the side of the waste/co-mingle recycle bins (not behind). The custodial staff will pick it up and place it in the recycling dumpster.
This standardized procedure applies for all of main campus and greatly helps our custodial staff and recycling costs.
Increasing Recycling Efficiency and Accountability
Facilities Management is continually striving to improve the efficiency of our recycling program as well as provide accountability to the university as to how and what is being recycled. The custodial staff picks up both recycling and waste at the same time then places them in the appropriate dumpsters. In order to make this process more effective, we have switched the recycling bags to a bright green while keeping the trash bags the black color. This serves as a visual reminder to the staff member while providing accountability to the university that everything in our co-mingled recycling containers is being placed in the appropriate dumpster.
In November 2012, UNTHSC expanded our university's recycling program to include ink cartridges, cell phones and batteries through a partnership with Universal Recyclers Technologies. We have two receptacles on campus with one in the MET building located near the Four Star Cafe and the other in the library 2nd floor by the cafe. While we are starting with one receptacle, we will provide additional locations throughout campus if needed. If you require a special pickup, please contact the Office of Sustainability.
We accept all types and sizes of ink
cartridges and toners. Another option for recycling ink cartridges is
to take used items to office supply stores. Some companies like Staples
offers rewards for recycling. Click here for more information.
All types of cell phones and
accessories are accepted. Please leave the batteries intact. If a
group on campus has a collection event for cell phones, the Office of
Sustainability would be happy to donate any collected cell phones to the
We accept most types of batteries including: alkaline, lead acid, lithium, NiMH, and NiCd. Please do one of the following:
- Place each battery in a clear plastic bag
- Place the batteries in their original packaging
- Bundle batteries of the same type together, and tape the terminals
- Tape the terminals of each individual battery
Other Recycling on Campus
UNTHSC also recycles oil used in its campus fleet, and we began lamp recycling in August 2012. We are continuing to look for ways to expand our recycling program.
UNTHSC recycled 233 tons of materials in 2011! These efforts resulted in the conservation of natural resources and energy. Click below for the full report from Waste Management.
Where Can I Recycle ________?
Do you have items that you want to
recycle but don’t know where? There are many resources out there to
guide you to a drop-off center near you. See below for some ideas, and
if you don’t see what you’re looking for, check out Earth911.com to search for recycling centers in your area. They also power an app called iRecycle for Apple and Android products.
Electronic Waste and Ink Cartridges* – This includes cell phones, TVs, computer, laptops, toners and ink cartridges, etc.
* UNTHSC hosted its own E-waste recycling even in April 2013, and we hope to do it again in April 2014.
Compact Florescent Lamps (CFLs) – CFLs have mercury in the bulbs which can be released into the environment.
What Else Can I Do?
Striving to be sustainable and conserving our natural resources is about more than recycling. Want to do more? Here are some ways to go beyond the bin:
- Get Involved! – Be part of the sustainability efforts here on campus. Click here for opportunities.
- Become Part of the Conversation – Check out our Facebook page and join in on the conversation. We post events, news, tips, and more! Click here to check it out.
- Have an Idea? – Suggest new initiatives or give feedback to the Office of Sustainability. Contact us here.