Big Changes for Rocket Recycling
Rocket Recycling has been undergoing big changes this past summer. Starting September 30th, Lott Industries will no longer service UT for recycling. UT has a great partnership with Lott which began over three years. It has been an honor to work with an organization that provides good jobs for local community members and a great service for UT. However, they are leaving the recycling business, so it is time for UT to thank Lott Industries for their years of service. Fortunately, our partnership is not over as they will continue to provide our document destruction on Main Campus.
As we prepared to transition away from Lott Industries this past summer, we did a lot of research to determine the best way to move forward with recycling. With the help of Dr. Matt Franchetti and Dr. Alex Spivak in the College of Engineering, Rocket Recycling conducted a feasibility study to determine our most cost effective solution. The results of the study showed that our best solution was to handle recycling in house using our own labor, baling our recyclables, and then selling them to a local company to cover our costs.
We are currently in the process of hiring 4 Student Recyclers and 1 Recycler to service recycling on all three campuses. We believe we will be ready to begin when Lott’s last day comes. Starting October 1st, you’ll see two Rocket Recycling trucks driving around on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3-9PM making their rounds. A route schedule will be posted here in the near future if you are curious when your building will be serviced.
As a quick preview of other changes coming in the near, near future. We will transition away from only 2 bins for recycling (one for plastic/aluminum and one for paper) and towards 4 bins (one for office paper, one for newspaper, one for metal, and one for plastic). This is because it is incredibly labor intensive to hand sort them as we currently operate. Having the UT community put their recycables in a more source separated container incredibly cuts down our costs. We will be able to make this transition with a grant from the OEPA to purchase 2,000 new containers labeled with their respective material. All current containers will still be used, and will be re-labeled to reflect the new system. A blog will come out when the times gets closer, so stay tuned for more details!
We ask for your flexibility and patience during this transition. And if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, leave them as a comment below or send them to email@example.com.
Brooke Mason is Brooke Mason, Sustainability Specialist for The University of Toledo, manages the Rocket Recycling program for over 100 buildings on three campuses with a staff of one non-student and six student employees. She is also responsible for the greenhouse gas inventory and the Climate Action Plan, which guide the University toward climate neutrality. Brooke is highly involved in sustainability education and outreach towards students including advising the Environmental Sustainability Living Learning Community, Society for Environmental Education, and UT’s Student Green Fund. She runs other student sustainability programs including Rockets Recycle: Green Tailgating, Friday Night Lights, RecycleMania, Campus Conservation Nationals, BlackoUT, and the Give & Go: Move Out program. Brooke has earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Policy & Sustainability Management from Bowling Green State University and is currently working on her Masters in Engineering at UT. She also sits on the Stewardship Committee for the Black Swamp Conservancy.
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