New Campus Policy Saves Recyclable Items from Landfill

Morgan Harding, Print Editor

New green campus policies have already resulted in nearly 20 tons of recycled waste.

“It’s just the right thing. We want to be as green as possible by taking products that can be reused and keeping them out of landfills,” said Paul Murphy, Director of Campus Safety and Facilities.

A new recycling contract with J.P. Mascaro, a trash hauler from Nanticoke, guarantees that plastics, glass, paper, cardboard and yard waste will be collected from the recycling dumpster located behind the Anderson complex. Cardboard from the Metz Dining Hall is collect in a separate dumpster due to the quantity of waste.

Material to be recycled is separated and taken to three different locations, according to Murphy. Paper is sent to a paper mill in Philadelphia where it is broken down and reused. Cardboard is bailed at Mascaro’s Nanticoke location and then sold to paper mills. Plastic and glass are sent to Green Star recycling of Allentown where materials go through the separating process. Yard waste is sent to a recycling center in Newport Township where it is made into mulch.

The university does not receive any rebates for this program because it is contracted  to Mascaro, which gave campus officials the lowest bid for the job.

Fifty-three tons of garbage was thrown away during the first month of the semester.  During the same  time 1.28 tons of glass and plastic, 16 tons of cardboard and 140 cubic yards of yard waste were recycled. Close to 20 tons of recycling would have ended up in a landfill had the recycling program not been in effect, according to Murphy.

Officials have been working to recycle unused and excess paper for several years. For example, old College Misericordia letterhead was recycled.

Jim Sabulski, Manager of Print and Mail Services, hopes to reduce the amount of paper that needs to be recycled. “In the past what we would do is print MU envelops for a department, traditional offset. Then the departments would address them on their own and type up their own letters and mail them. There would be excess paper and envelops and therefore waste,” he said.

A new machine allows Print Shop employees to only print what is needed.  For example, computer software enables print jobs containing multiple components to be printed at once.

“We will print everything at the same time so there is no waste and only things are printed that will be used,” Sabulski said.

Murphy also hopes a new water recycling fountain will help  cut down on the number of bottles being recycled.  Students can refill bottles with filtered, cold water in recycling water fountains in the Metz Field House and the Anderson Center.   Nearly 9,000 bottles have been refilled since the installation of the fountains.

“We are always looking for other ways to save,” said Murphy.

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