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IUPUI aims to reduce trash with campus-wide single-stream recycling

Office of Sustainability
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Published:

November 15, 2012

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Beginning Jan. 1, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will convert to single-stream recycling.

“Single-stream recycling is expected to create a simpler recycling process that will increase the amount of campus waste being recycled and reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the trash,” said Dawn Rhodes, IUPUI vice chancellor for finance and administration.

The announcement was made in conjunction with America Recycles Day.

With single-stream recycling, there is no sorting, and there are few materials that cannot be recycled, said Colleen McCormick, director of the IUPUI Office of Sustainability. That will lead to a decrease in trash, she said.

A system that requires sorting into separate bins often leads to confusion about what can be recycled. Some people find it easier to just throw everything into the trash bins instead of recycling, McCormick said.

Single-stream recycling allows users to conveniently place all of their recyclable items such as newspaper, cardboard, mixed paper, magazines, glass, aluminum and plastic in one recycling bin. The recyclables are sorted later at a recycling center.
An educational program will be developed to aid the campus community in moving to a single-stream recycling system, McCormick said.

In August, IUPUI moved in the direction of single-stream recycling for the entire campus when it implemented single-stream recycling for on-campus housing.