Screen readers: Two navigational links to follow.Skip to site navigation.Skip to page content.
The University of Iowa News Services
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 26, 2011

UI to phase in single-stream recycling on campus

The University of Iowa has transformed the way it manages recyclable materials and will phase in a new single-stream recycling program across campus, effective Thursday, Sept. 1. The new recycling system integrates a user-friendly approach that will help colleges and departments meet the UI's 2020 Vision goal of 60 percent waste diversion.

Single stream recycling means that newspaper, office paper, cardboard, lab plastics, nonredeemable drink containers, plastics, tin, aluminum, and most food containers can now be placed in the same collection bin instead of being sorted into individual containers. Redeemable plastics and landfill items will continue to be treated separately as in the past. 

"The new recycling program encourages the campus community to become actively involved in recycling and waste diversion and allows them to contribute to success of the program," said Liz Christiansen, director of the UI Office of Sustainability.

Waste Management Inc. was awarded the recycling collection contract and will be working alongside UI and City Carton Recycling to phase in the single-stream recycling system to capture higher volume and higher value commodities from the waste stream. The single stream material captured at the UI will be transported to the City Carton Recycling sorting facility in Cedar Rapids, a technologically advanced facility that utilizes automated sorting to separate recyclable materials into commodities for marketing to buyers for resale. Some items not included in single stream recycling include Styrofoam and glass.

Single stream recycling will be phased in at all major campus buildings over the coming months. Containers and labeling have arrived at some locations, but will be added or introduced at other buildings later this fall. The current dock-side recycling containers and other City Carton-provided collection containers will go away and be replaced with single-stream Waste Management Inc. containers.

"The transition for the campus community should be transparent," said Christiansen. "Interior building containers will receive a new label that identifies the acceptable materials that can be placed within them. In some cases, new containers will be added in central locations to further encourage single stream collection."

Over the past three weeks, representatives from Waste Management have been surveying campus buildings and dock facilities with building coordinators, Facilities Management, UI Housing, Athletics and UI Hospitals and Clinics. According to the initial feedback from colleges and departments, the new system will streamline the process, create efficiencies, improve safe handling processes and in some cases, provide cost reductions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Facilities Management, 200 University Services Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACTS: Liz Christiansen, Office of Sustainability, 319-335-5516; Wendy Moorehead, Facilities Management, 319-335-1246