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January 26, 2010, Volume 56, No. 19


Waste Reduction and Recycling Tips

Report buildings without recycling bins:  The first step to increasing Penn’s recycling rate is ensuring that bins are available in each building on campus. If your building does not have recycling bins, e-mail sustainability@upenn.edu and let Facilities know.

Learn what can and cannot be recycled at Penn:  Learn more about what Penn recycles on the Facilities and Real Estate Services website and visit the Green Campus Partnership Resources page to download posters for your building.

Go beyond recycling—Reduce Your Waste:  People tend to become very enthusiastic about recycling paper, plastic, and metals, but often lose sight of the importance of reducing the amount of waste they generate. Be conscious of what you toss in the trash and think about what you could possibly reuse or recycle instead of throw away. Learn more about what Penn recycles on the Facilities and Real Estate Services website.

Improve your purchasing practices: Avoid buying things you don’t really need and items with short life spans. Buy in bulk to reduce packaging and purchase products that you can reuse rather than throw away after a single use. Then complete the cycle by purchasing products made from recycled materials. Visit Purchasing Services’ new Green Purchasing website to take advantage of discounts on green products for your office or department.

Reduce, reuse and recycle paper and cardboard:  Mixed paper and cardboard alone make up approximately 40% of Penn’s overall waste stream. Reduce the amount of paper you use by printing only when necessary, double-siding jobs, and reusing one-sided pages. Flatten and recycle all cardboard boxes, recycle old newspapers and magazines, and e-mail sustainability@upenn.edu to arrange a hard cover book pickup.

Bring your own bottle and get your fill:  Throughout RecycleMania, various campus retail locations will reward those who reduce their waste by offering discounts for bringing your own cup or bottle. In addition, many Penn departments and College Houses have installed UV tap water filters so you can refill without paying for bottled water.

Dispose of electronic and universal waste properly:  Penn recycles everything from old computers, electronics, and appliances, to compact fluorescent light bulbs and batteries. Visit the Green Campus Partnership website to learn when and where you can drop off your e-waste.

Pay your bills online:  Virtually every company now offers paperless billing with e-mail reminders, so you can start to chop down that stack of envelopes on your desk instead of trees used to make them.

Got junk? Donate it to PennMOVES at the end of the year:  Since 2007, Penn Business Services has conducted PennMOVES, a campus recycling and re-use drive during move-out. Items collected are re-sold during a two-day event in early June, with the proceeds benefitting West Philadelphia charity organizations identified by The United Way.


Almanac - January 26, 2010, Volume 56, No. 19