Combating waste by providing an outlet to reduce it

K-State recycling center works toward a better tomorrow every day

A big question on most minds today is how we can help future generations. The Kansas State University recycling center has an answer for that; it has been working to reduce waste since 2013.

“Recycling is important because we are trying to divert as much material from entering the landfill to be used in other areas,” said Bill Spiegel, project manager for K-State recycling.

Recycling links almost every part of K-State’s campus, from the blue bins outside and inside most classrooms, to the recycling facility for the K-State Community. “We offer a convenient place to drop off all recyclable material 24/7, whether you are a student or a faculty member of K-State, or support the recycling program here,” Bill said.

The K-State recycling center team is passionate about saving the planet, one can at a time, and works with campus departments to ensure that old recyclable materials find new beginnings.

One of the biggest events for the recycling center involves the students moving in and out of the dorms. This is the time for all students to look and see what they do not want or need to take home and — if they choose — donate to the recycling center.

“Move out items can include anything from clothes, books, household items, non-perishable food, paper, cardboard, plastics and aluminum cans,” said Bill. This long list of items are things that most students forget can be recycled once they leave for the summer.

All the extra clothes that are recycled during move in and move out are given to the local Goodwill. The bedding is given to the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan to provide extra comfort to the animals. All unopened nonperishable food is donated to Cats’ Cupboard for student use.

This helps students to relieve the stress of cramming all their items back into their cars for the ride home and benefits the local community.

Recently the center worked with the Housing and Dining services to recycle 582 mattresses. The coordinator found an organization in the Greater Kansas City area that agreed to pick up, sanitize and redistribute these mattresses to children in need. This all happens with no extra cost to the university.

Recycling at K-State is much easier than most people would think.

“When we switched to a single stream system in 2013, we saved the university thousands a year just in custodial fees,” Bill said. “They used to pick up specific material daily, and now they can pick up all the material in one blue bin. This also makes our system more convenient for students, faculty, and staff because they can just drop off the material without having to think about sorting.”

By taking initiative with recycling, K-State and the surrounding Manhattan area get a huge benefit and help to save the planet.

“We can make a difference by continuing to increase our diversion rate and preventing recyclable material from entering the landfill,” Bill said. “We work with the university all the time to try and purchase material that can be used for recycling later on, and we can see the impact it is having on the community.”

For more information about K-State recycling please follow this link. To support K-State’s recycling efforts, please click here to donate.

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