PULLMAN  WSU Facilities Operations will begin a pilot project to explore the feasibility of “Single Stream” recycling collection at the public station on Dairy Road beginning Feb. 25.

During the duration of the pilot program, most recyclables will be collected as co-mingled with the exceptions of corrugated cardboard, aluminum cans and glass, which will still be collected separately. For the customer, this translates into putting most of their recyclables into one container without having to sort items into separate bins.

“This is an exciting new developing market in the recycling industry,” said Rick Finch, WSU Facilities Operations Waste Management manager. “It has the potential to reduce the costs of collection and processing and increase the volume of materials collected by simplifying the process for users.”

Although no official data are available yet, Finch estimates that there could be a 20 to 30 percent increase of the amount of recyclables collected through single stream collection.

The purpose of the pilot project will be to evaluate cost savings and the viability of the market for commodities collected as single stream. Information collected during the project will be shared with local recyclers and city and county administrators.

“The potential for improving the sustainability of recycling programs is tremendous,” said Finch. “If the program is successful we will explore the potential to expand single stream collections to other collection points on the WSU campus.

“The idea with implementing the pilot program is to bring costs down and make the recycling program at WSU economically sustainable. The industry is going in the single stream recycling direction; in fact, the University of Idaho is planning to start a similar pilot in March and several communities in Western Washington such as Shelton already have similar pilot or fully functional programs.”
For a complete list of accepted and not accepted items visit
Some items that will not be accepted for recycling by the WSU public station on Dairy Road include:
  • containers that held toxic materials or that are contaminated with food paper products such as pizza boxes
  • paper plates and cups
  • pet food bags or milk and juice cartons
  • some plastics such as microwavable cookware,plastic bags
  • plastic plates and cups or prescription pills container
  • plastic foam products such as fast food containers or cups
  • household items such as ceramic plates and cups
  • light bulbs, batteries or tires.