News Release

News and Public Information Office
Glos Center
Miami University
Oxford, Ohio 45056
(513) 529-7592
(513) 529-1950 fax

Is it garbage or recyclable? 30-50 percent of recyclables end up in trash


During the RecycleMania competition, which runs Feb. 6-April 2, academic buildings may be selected at random for a trash audit. Prior to the start of this year's competition, Bachelor Hall was inspected resulting in some interesting findings.

A trash audit of the Bachelor Hall dumpster conducted Jan. 24 through Jan. 27, revealed:

  • Approximately 30 percent of the trash was captured as recyclable material (on a per weight basis) — bottles, cans, and paper.
  • Another 15-20 percent could have been captured as recyclable material, but it was contaminated, most often by coffee remaining in cups thrown away.

These findings mirrored those from last semester's trash sort by the student group Green Oxford, which found 26 percent could have been recycled.

The trash audit was conducted by Clarence Blevins, manager of trucking and special services, and Janice Cantrell, building and grounds manager.

Instead of placing recyclables in the trash, where they end up in the Rumpke landfill, its important to remember to place bottles, cans, paper and corrugated cardboard in the green and blue recycling bins.
  • Contrary to popular perception, recyclables are not separated from the trash (except during a trash audit). Only items placed in the recycling bins are recycled.
  • Miami spends approximately $313,000 per year to dispose of 3,576 tons of “waste” at the Rumpke landfill.

“Little changes in how we sort and dispose our waste have big impacts,” according to David Prytherch, Miami’s sustainability coordinator. “So let’s use Recyclemania to rethink recycling at Miami.”


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