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Roger Guzowski

Max-R | Defining Waste and Recycling Program Success | Recycle Definition

Defining Waste and Recycling Program Success

As the sustainable-materials-management industry has grown since the 1980s, we have added a lot of goals, regulations and reports. And in those, we use a lot of terms. But what do we mean when we use those terms? Too often, what makes a recycling program a rousing success or a spectacular failure comes down not to efforts, investments, programs, but merely definitions.

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Back to School

If you are a college or university, depending on when classes start, you are either already knee deep in student move-in issues or about to be. If you are a new reader, below are some previously-written blog posts to help you navigate some of the recycling and sustainability issues you will encounter as the students return. And if you are a returning reader, hopefully one of these posts will remind you of something that you said you wanted to try this year.

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Best Practices

Can Branded Bins Augment Your CSR Efforts

Branding is generally an attempt to associate your product or company with certain ideas or images to clearly differentiate it from others in the field. At its most basic, it is little different than its roots, in which ranchers would mark their animals so that they could be easily identified when roaming or grazing together, a practice that dates back to the ancient Egyptians or beyond. Eventually, that same concept was used in commerce so that when similar products from different manufacturers were shipped or sold together, each product could be clearly identified.

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Moving out of college dorms

Making the Most of Student Move Out

If you manage recycling programs at a residential campus, student move out is one of the most frantic periods of the year. If you’re new to the process, it can be overwhelming. But, regardless of whether you are still planning for move out, staring at the piles of discarded stuff accumulating as students are moving out, or have already missed your window of opportunity and are merely leaving notes for things to do better next year, focusing on the six items below will help.

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Recycling Bin Top

Restricted Access

Restrictive lids are one of if not the most effective way to reduce contamination in a recycling bin. Restrictive lids restrict the type of material that can be placed into a bin. For recycling to work, you have to segregate the materials that you want to recycle from those that you don’t.If you didn’t have a restrictive lid you would typically rely on a label on the front of your bin to identify that stream. But for bin labels to work most effectively, you need a clear line of sight and adequate time to read the label.

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Recycle Piggy Bank

Recycling Program Budget

Successfully growing and sustaining recycling programs can sometimes depend on something as simple as where you budget recycling expenses. As budgets are being set for next fiscal year, now is the time to think about what you want accomplish next year, how you want to fund it, and perhaps most importantly, where you want to fund it.

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School Student Gathering

Recycling Education in Residence Halls, Part 2

Whether you have dormitories, suites, houses, on-campus apartments, or even a yurt (all of which for simplicity’s sake I will collectively refer to as residence halls), those residence halls are home for any resident students that you have on campus for the 8+ months per year that they live on campus. That means that at some point you are going to need to do recycling education in the residence halls. The question is who delivers the message? Who prepares it?

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Education in Residence Halls, Part 1

There are two main components to residence hall recycling education: information (the what, when and where) and promotions (the why). I have written other posts about the informational facet, including location, images, and even using things like QR codes to convey information. And I have written previously about the why.

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Coin Stacking

Improve Cost Effectiveness of Your Recycling Program, Part 2

Rather than just looking for outside funding sources, have you looked to see whether there are ways to enhance the revenues that you receive for your recyclables to get you the extra funding that you need? What items on your wish list could you fund if you took advantage of those opportunities?

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Improve Cost Effectiveness of Your Recycling Program, Part 1

One often overlooked opportunity is collection efficiency. Recycling does not increase the total amount of waste that you generate. Recycling takes a portion of that waste and diverts it out of the trash into another container or containers. As a result, the more you recycle, the fewer the amount of labor and financial resources you should have to dedicate to trash collection.

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