Recycling @ CWRU

Brian Weiser, CWRU Green Speaks

Beginning this semester, Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) is moving one step forward on the path to the president’s goal of making CWRU carbon-neutral by 2050 through the Climate Action Plan. The university recently hired a recycling manager, Erin Kollar, whose role is to coordinate the recycling of recyclable materials here at CWRU. One of her main responsibilities is to coordinate CWRU’s role in Recyclemania, a competition that raises student awareness of CWRU recycling policies.

Recyclemania is a competition that started with two schools in 2001 and has grown to include over 500 schools worldwide. The aim of the game is to reduce waste and increase recycling as much as possible – and in past years, CWRU has fallen to the fifth percentile. To recover from these scores, the Student Sustainability Council has initiated a new campaign to educate the school about what can be recycled by making presentations during classes.

To help reach students outside of these select classes, here is a rundown on what you can recycle. First off, all types of paper, from white and colored to newspapers and magazines, can be recycled in any bin marked “paper recycling” regardless of whether it says “white” or “mixed.” Cardboard is also recyclable; just place it next to any recycling bin. Keep in mind is that cardboard cannot be recycled if it is waxy or has a lot of grease.

The other major category of recyclable materials is plastics, aluminum, and glass. Plastics labeled with numbers one through seven can all be recycled. Glass and plastic bottles must not have liquid in them and the cap should be removed.

Recycling in our community plays a big part in helping the environment. With a campus that generates as much waste as 20 thousand people, we need to play our part in recycling whatever we can. Apart from the environmentalist reasons for recycling, our recycling earned the school $15,000 last year from our vendors.

The Recyclemania competition starts the week of Feb. 5 and goes through March 31. Throughout this time, updates on how CWRU is doing will be provided at the end of each article.