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Deskside recycling underway

July 28, 2015

University Hall employees are likely to play an important role in the future of IUPUI reaching its recycling goals, which are a key part of campus efforts to improve sustainability, according to Jessica G. Davis, the director of the Office of Sustainability.

Recycling infographic

IUPUI’s newest building is the home of a new deskside office recycling pilot program, a collaborative effort between Sustainability and Campus Facility Services, Davis said. The pilot program puts a combination of a recycle bin and waste bin at the desk of each University Hall staff member. Campus Facility Services employees will empty the recycle bin on their regular schedule, while University Hall tenants will be responsible for disposing of their own waste.

Chancellor Bantz endorses the program, which he called an important step toward improving campus recycling.

“I am enthusiastically supporting the University Hall Office Recycling Program,” he said. “My thanks, in advance, to everyone in our newest IUPUI building for participating.”

The chancellor believes the program is a key step toward “infusing sustainable behavior throughout faculty, staff and administration on campus. It may also foster behaviors that will transfer into sustainable actions at home and across our community,” he said.

Bantz said IUPUI’s recycling track record needs improvement.

“As you know, recycling contributes to decreased need for landfills and brings multiple environmental benefits,” he said. “Beyond the environment, there are also economic factors from which we benefit. IUPUI pays for waste removal by the ton and receives a rebate for every ton of recyclables.”

Office recycling programs have demonstrated it is possible to divert 85 to 90 percent of recyclables from the waste piles to the recycle stream, Davis noted, comparing those numbers to IUPUI’s current average recycle rate of approximately 10 percent.

Choosing University Hall, which was designed to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, was intentional, the sustainability director added.

“We believe that a building designed with sustainability in mind can help shape the behaviors and habits of those who work there,” she said. “This project will help those who work in University Hall make a difference beyond our campus footprint.”

It could offer far-reaching benefits, Davis added. “Should this pilot go well, our goal is to roll it out to the rest of the campus,” she said.

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