Wayne State University has made its waste and recycling program even better and, through the Green Warriors initiative, the Office of Campus Sustainability will engage the entire campus community to further implement the reduce, reuse, and recycle concept. Over the next two years, Green Warriors seeks to increase WSU’s diversion rate to over 50 percent expanding its impact and stewardship of the environment through waste reduction and recycling education programs.
To reach a 50 percent diversion rate, it’s important that students, staff and faculty do their part by fully-utilizing the recycling program.
The diagram below, courtesy of Advanced Disposal (WSU’s waste and recycling service provider), outlines the waste stream process.
As noted, recyclables are picked up from WSU and taken to the recycling facility where materials such as plastic, metals and cardboard are sorted, sent to manufacturers, and made into new items. The recycling effort at WSU ensures items that enter the waste stream will eventually be used to make other products for sale and reduce the need to use additional natural resources.
Refillable water bottles are a good way to keep plastics out of landfills.
Americans use 2,500,000 plastic bottles every hour, most of which are thrown away.
Annually, 900,000,000 trees are cut down to be used for paper products.
Paper makes up 29 percent of all trash.
WSU monitors waste stream and mass balance to reduce —through purchasing practices and education— costs and environmental, community and occupational risks associated with its use and disposal of materials. In addition, WSU looks at ways to increase awareness of best practices regarding waste stream and mass balance. Mass balance concerns the accounting of material entering and leaving the university or accumulating in it. WSU has identified the following objectives as a guide. Importantly, the recommendations listed below are expected to assist in achievement of these objectives.
- Minimize waste and therefore chemical disposal costs.
- Reduce occupational and environmental risks.
- Monitor and reduce the purchase of chemicals
- Donate waste paint
- Redistribute surplus chemicals
- Reduce mercury pollution
- Recycle solvents
- Reduce risks associated with use of toxic chemicals
- Reduce through purchasing practices and education-- costs and environmental, community and occupational risks associated with the use and disposal of materials
- Practice waste minimization techniques
- Monitor and reduce the purchase of chemicals, and lessen the risks of using toxic chemicals
- Create an environmental advisory board made up of representatives from within and outside of the university community to analyze and recommend strategies and methods for improving environmental stewardship
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle