University of California-Santa Barbara Commingled Recycling

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Type: Program

Status: Launched in March 2008

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Commingled Recycling Comes to UCSB!

The UCSB Recycling Program is excited to announce a six-month trial program of commingled recycling at UCSB! Starting in March 2008, the Recycling Program under the capable guidance of Mary Ann Hopkins will be teaming up with Custodial Services to provide building occupants with commingled recycling at their desks, in addition to familiar source separation. The buildings chosen for this test are: Embarcadero Hall, Ellison, Bren, Life Science, and North Hall. For 20-plus years, the occupants and visitors of UCSB have accomplished an aggressive source-separation program that produced clean streams of valuable office pack, aluminum, plastic, and cardboard that has defrayed solid waste disposal costs in addition to maintaining a diversion rate above 50% which has kept the campus ahead of State, County, and UCOP requirements.

The State of California and UCOP have set the following goals for waste diversion statewide: 50% by June 2008, 75% by June 2012, and 100% by June 2020. Thanks to the combined efforts of office occupants, Ms. Hopkins, the Custodial staff, and the A.S. Recycling Program, this campus recycled 95.6 tons of cardboard, 55.73 tons of "office pack," and 264.16 tons of commingled material during calendar year 2006 which puts us well above the 50% total diversion mark.

However, to make the next leap to 75%, UCSB will be striving even harder to capture the residual recyclable materials that unfortunately end up in the Tajiguas Landfill. On a six-month trial basis; classroom, conference room, personal office, and departmental office refuse cans will be converted to commingled recycling: plastic, aluminum, metal, glass, newspapers, or anything that is not organic and is not "office pack". "Office pack" (all non-glossy paper) will still be separated into the clip-on blue bins at each refuse can, and office occupants will be responsible for emptying these blue bins into the large, labeled "office pack" containers that Custodial staff service. The commingled recyclables will be mechanically and hand-sorted at the MarBorg facility downtown.

Organic materials such as apple cores, food items, tea bags, etc., must be placed only in kitchen or restroom refuse cans, where they will be serviced daily. It is very important that all organic waste be scrupulously kept out of commingled recycling to keep the cost to UCSB down, to minimize pest problems, and also to maximize value of the recyclables.

Ms. Hopkins will be communicating directly with Management Service Officers in all buildings scheduled to participate in the trial program. Vice Chancellor Donna Carpenter and I want to thank you all in advance for helping our campus achieve this next milestone in recycling and continuing to lead the UC system in sustainability.