PULLMAN – WSU Facilities Operations will introduce “single-stream” or comingled recycling campuswide beginning Aug. 4.
The implementation of single-stream collection follows a pilot program that started in February at WSU.
“The collection and processing of recyclables as co-mingled rather than separate products during the pilot project have demonstrated that we can significantly reduce operating expenses while simplifying the process for our customers. We believe that the simplified process will result in more recyclable materials being diverted from the waste stream,” said Rick Finch, WSU Facilities Operations Waste Management manager.
Recyclables at the WSU campus will be collected as co-mingled with the exceptions of corrugated cardboard, white paper (only in offices) and glass, which will still be collected separately. For WSU staff and students 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 Finch. “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.”
Changes will be slowly implemented, said Finch. The major changes on campus will include the removal of the three-color beverage collection stations and different labeling on the larger wheeled containers that will be used to collect co mingled recycling. WSU will also add more combination containers in outdoor locations around campus, offering waste and recycling options at each location.
The University of Idaho has been considering a similar pilot program and several communities in Western Washington such as Shelton already have similar pilot or fully functional programs, said Finch.
Items that will not be accepted for recycling by WSU include any containers that held toxic materials or that are contaminated with food; paper products such as, paper plates and cups, pet food bags or milk and juice cartons, pizza boxes will be accepted but they must be empty; some plastics such as microwavable cookware, plastic bags, plastic plates and cups or prescription pills containers; plastic foam products such as fast food containers or cups; and household items such as ceramic plates and cups, light bulbs, batteries or tires.