Waste & Recycling Bins and Best Practices

A Max-R Blog

Planning for Student Move Out

EducationPlanningWaste and Recycling

At every residential school I have ever worked with, the trash nearly doubles in May when the students move out. Way too much of that is perfectly nice stuff that is not deliberately left behind. It is left behind because it didn’t fit.

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Measuring Net Improvements

MetricsSustainabilityWaste and Recycling

We talk a lot in absolute terms: “zero waste,” “zero emissions.” But what do we really mean? Are we talking about net improvements, or are we merely transferring problems?

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Storage: Recycling Logistics, Part 2

LandfillLogisticsWaste and Recycling

Storing stuff, at least commercially, can be harder than you think. When you grow up with a family member that is a borderline hoarder, that can be a surprising realization. After all, if one person can store every issue of Consumer Reports since 1978 just in case they need to look up a review of something they buy at a yard/tag/garage sale (I wish I was making that part up), you would think that a campus of 10,000 could fairly easily store a trailer-load of baled paper in order to ship it to market.

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The Theory of Relativity, Part 2

Best PracticesLogisticsWaste and Recycling

Sustainability has often focused a lot on big goals: carbon neutrality, zero waste, etc. But we need to recognize that sometimes big goals can be as daunting for some people as they are inspiring for others.

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The Theory of Relativity, Part 1

Best PracticesLogisticsWaste and Recycling

I think this issue of relativity is something that needs to be addressed in the recycling and sustainability industry. Too often we throw around terms. We declare that something is sustainable, that something is “green,” that something will save money, or will save energy. Or conversely, we ask whether something is one of those things. But, too often, we fail to give context. The truthfulness of our statements or the answers to our questions may depend on what we compare something to. Context and alternatives matter.

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Budgeting for Recycling Expenses

Best PracticesPlanningWaste and Recycling

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 to accomplish next year, how you want to fund it, and perhaps most importantly where you want to fund it.

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Impact of Recycling, Part 2

Best PracticesLogisticsRecycling Process

As I have said in several presentations, if the only thing you care about is keeping stuff out of the landfill, littering works as well as recycling or any other sustainable resource management activity. At some point, we need to look beyond keeping stuff out of the landfill and really look at the impact of what we are doing. What are the financial impacts of your alternatives? What are the environmental impacts or the social impacts?

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Impact of Recycling, Part 1

Best PracticesLogisticsRecycling Process

Why do you recycle? At some point, we have to talk about impact. Because not all recycling is created equal. How you recycle stuff matters. In some cases it matters as much if not more than whether you recycle at all.

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Sustainability Projects and Student Groups

EducationOperationsPlanning

As a staff member or administrator, working with student clubs and organizations can sometimes be both the most rewarding experience and sometimes the most frustrating. Don’t let this potentially great experience be doomed by false expectations.

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