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Susan Meikle, University Communications and Marketing
In the several years since Miami University’s campus was closed for the COVID-19 pandemic, waste hauling provider Rumpke Waste & Recycling added more items acceptable for recycling.
This is a good time for a primer of what is acceptable — or not — for recycling, said Olivia Herron, Miami University's director of sustainability in Physical Facilities.
Miami is participating in Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania), the eight-week national collegiate recycling tournament that aims to increase recycling and minimize waste on campus.
"Recycling varies across regions and states," Herron said, "so it is important for students from different areas of the country to be aware of what is acceptable for recycling on campus and in Oxford."
While Miami makes it easy to recycle on campus — just place your recyclables in the single-stream blue bins — items that can be recycled often end up in the waste bins and then the landfill. How often? Miami’s EcoReps conduct trash audits in residence halls each semester to find out.
EcoReps president Alexandria Coffman said typically 15-30% of the trash by weight in residence halls could have been recycled. That adds up to a lot of lost resources that could be turned into new products, said Coffman, an Urban and Regional Planning and Geography and Sustainable Development double major and Sustainabiility co-major.
And, according to Rumpke, more than half of household trash thrown away could be recycled.
Rumpke works with regional manufacturers to turn recyclables into new end products, and 80% of their material goes to Ohio companies.
Take our interactive quiz to test your recycling know-how