Be green, go blue: New recycling bins ramp up UMSL’s sustainability efforts

Scott Morrissey, a senior communication major at UMSL

Scott Morrissey, a senior communication major and a communication specialist intern for the UMSL sustainability office, places a new single-stream recycling bin in Clark Hall. (Photo by Myra Lopez)

One hundred fifty new blue recycling bins are being dispersed across the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ campus to increase the university’s recycling effort in time for America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

The first round of blue bins were set up Nov. 13 in Lucas and Clark Hall. The UMSL Sustainability crew will continue to place bins around campus throughout the week.

“To ensure lasting success and a campus commitment to recycling best practices, the university intends to start at the beginning, going back to the basics and addressing one building at a time,” said Katy Mike Smaistrla, sustainability coordinator at UMSL. “The plan is to update the containers and program infrastructure to revitalize recycling collection practices.”

Along with the blue bins, comes UMSL’s new single-stream recycling system. No more self-sorting or confusion over which bin is for glass or aluminum. ALL recyclable material (paper, flattened cardboard, metal, glass and plastic containers) can be placed into any recycle bin. The sorting is done after collection.

Joining in the celebration of America Recycles Day is Scott Morrissey, senior communication major and sustainability communications specialist intern for the UMSL Sustainability Office.

“I will use as many recycled products as I can throughout the day. I have clothes made out of recycled materials, along with cups plates and utensils. I have food scraps that I will try to use to make vegetable soup for my meals. I will use my recycled banana paper to do school work, so on and so forth,” Morrissey said. “Of course, in the process, I plan on not throwing away a single item all day. I will recycle the things I use, and any left over food will go directly to the compost.”

Morrissey emphasized that purchasing recycled products is just as important as recycling itself because it helps drive the recycling process and industry. He sees UMSL’s support in the green movement as essential.

“I believe that sustainability is largely about education,” Morrissey said. “What better way to educate the students than to lead by example and make sure the university has a fantastic recycling system in place.”

The new blue bins are the result of the Bin Grant program made possible by Keep America Beautiful, a nonprofit that helps communities become greener, and The Coca-Cola Foundation. They partnered with the College and University Recycling Coalition, a membership-based nonprofit organization made up of campus-based recycling and sustainability professionals, to help bring more recycling services to universities. Among the collegiate winners, UMSL won the second largest allocation of recycling bins.

Have a “green” question or want to know more about a particular project? Email the UMSL Sustainability Office at sustainability@umsl.edu.


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