Frequently Asked Questions
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Waste and Recycling at UMD:
By the end of the 2014-2015 academic year, staff and faculty in individual offices will be in charge of sorting trashandrecycling into central containers within an office suite or area. Individual offices will no longer be serviced for trash and recycling. Each office will have their own mini-trash bin to manage themselves. The mini-trash bins are actually re-purposed food containers, that were washed/dried for Custodial Services by UMD Dining Services.
The changes in office waste/recycling services will allow Custodial Services more time to prioritize public and student spaces on campus, including adding recycling bins in many classrooms that previously did not previously have recycling.
The overall goal of this operational change is to reduce the amount of waste going into the landfill and increase recycling rates. The most immediate change will be eliminating hundreds of thousands of plastic bags that used to line office trash bins from going to the landfill (and a little over $5,000 in purchasing costs!)
Read more about this switch to create Less Waste.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get started with your mini trash-bin today!
No. Lab spaces are considered student, academic spaces and will remain at the same (or have greater) levels of service, including both recycling and trash removal.
Your mini-bin is a fairly small container, and can be easily washed at any sink on campus. However, upon request, Custodial Services can clean these for you. A good rule of thumb for cleaning these would be rinsing them once per month.
In 2010, the campus recycling rate was 42%, but it rose to 50% in 2013. Efforts to both increase recycling and add organics recycling by placing compost bins around campus probably helped increase this landfill diversion rate.
- Recycling at UMD is pretty easy: everything that can be recycled can be co-mignled. That includes aluminum cans, glass or plastic bottles newspaper, magazines, and paper. All can be co-mingled. (Note: In some areas, there is a separate Paper bin, to reduce cleaning tasks.)
- Food waste: All food waste (even meat!) can be placed into compost bins around campus, along with compostable plates, spoons, forks, and cups provided by UMD Dining.
- Corrugated cardboard: place near doors of offices or near recycling bins (not in) for custodial staff to pick up.
- Film plastic (shopping bags, bread bags, non-crinkly plastic wrap) can be recycled at the bin in front ofUMD Stores. (And yes, you can bring in any/all of your clean plastic bags from home to recycle!)
- For hazardous waste questions (batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, refrigerants, lab waste) contactEnvironmental Health and Safety Office. Hazardous waste recycling quantities from 2008 include: Electronics – 67,509 lbs Lead acid Batteries – 3,597 lbs Oil – 563 gal Fluorescent Lamps – 15,826 lamps Lithium Batteries – 22 lbs Alkaline Batteries – 473 lbs X-ray film – 220 lbs
- Spiral-bound notebooks with paper/cardboard covers: These can go into Paper recycling. (No need to remove spiral binding or staples.)
- Spiral notebooks with vinyl/plastic covers: First, tear off the vinyl/plastic cover and throw it in the trash. The rest of the notebook can go into Paper recycling.
- Plastic/vinyl 3-ring binders: Three-ring binders can be re-used, so please offer up as a donation to another department on campus or to a local charity. However, if binders are broken or unusable, they are unfortunately trash. These have multiple commodities together (aluminum, plastic, metal screws, etc.), so they should be disposed of in the trash.
Energy Use at UMD:
Solar photovoltaic arrays are present on campus already, but solar thermal, biomass, geothermal have all been (and will continue to be) considered. Smaller scale or building-mounted wind turbines might also be used as demonstration or research projects.