By: Lauren Wolters
UF signs five-year contract with Rumpke for co-mingled recycling
Beginning Sept. 1, the University of Findlay will partner with Rumpke Waste & Recycling for co-mingled campus recycling. This means that students, faculty, and staff will no longer have to sort their own recycling. There will be one bin for all types of recycling.
UF will host a kick-off event for the new partnership at 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 at the Bell Tower on campus. There will be free stainless steel water bottles, information about the new recycling program, recycling games with Derrick the Oiler and Binny from Rumpke, music, and food in sustainable packaging.
Amy DePuy, co-chair of the Findlay Green Campus Initiative, said that Derrick and Binny will compete in a recycling relay to see who can recycle the most items correctly the fastest. Students can volunteer in the relay for a chance to win surprise swag.
“I think it’ll be a really great way for students to not only learn more about the new recycling program, but it’s going to be fun,” DePuy said.
The new partnership also means that there will be more recycling bins. Jones explained that 32-gallon, blue, recycling bins will be added to dorm hallways, UF houses, and classrooms across campus. Eight-yard bins will be beside the dumpsters to make sorting trash and recycling more convenient.
Orion Jones, Director of the Physical Plant, explained the inconvenience of UF’s former recycling program.
“We [the Physical Plant] were collecting, sorting, processing, and delivering to Litter Landing. It creates a lot of volatility to where if that recycling person or waste person leaves us, or get sick, or takes vacation, it really hamstrings our ability to be able to recycle,” Orion Jones said.
Jones added that the former process was very time-consuming and required a lot of labor. With the new partnership Rumpke will pick up the co-mingled recycling from the eight-yard bins on a set schedule.
In addition to time and labor savings, the new program also supports local business.
“Local tides rise all ships is one of my favorite sayings, and the more that we can continue to inject our money into the local economy the better the local economy will be,” Jones said.
The money for the bins and to revamp education for the new program came from Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant money. With the Ohio EPA money, DePuy created and organized a lot of the marketing for the new program.
The recycling motto of “Love Orange. Live Green,” and an Ohio EPA sticker will be on the 100 new recycling bins.
DePuy said on Thursday, Aug. 26 at noon Derrick popped up at a mystery location on campus to toss UF t-shirts and hand out flyers for the upcoming recycling event on Sept. 1. She also said that there will be short videos of Derrick showing students what can be recycled on UF’s social media.
Experiential Student Learning Division (ESLD) students helped Jones and DePuy with the organization of the new program.
“We employed business and sustainability students,” Jones said. “They’re the ones who helped write this grant, helped put this marketing program together. They’re the ones who set up supply chain and ordered all of our containers and marketing materials and water bottles.”
ESLD students get paid, and it counts as internship hours. Jones added that the program allows students to gain actual experience instead of book work which boosts their resumes and employability.
DePuy explained how she and Jones collaborated with the ESLD.
“We brainstormed with them ideas on the best way to communicate with the student population, and what type of things did they think students would like at this event. We really took their input and tried to make it as fun and focused as possible,” DePuy said.
DePuy said that there are bound to be hiccups as UF transitions to the new program, but that through education UF will adjust quickly.
“There will still be some growing pains I think a little bit at first just because it’s new,” DePuy said. “Anytime you have a new procedure you know there’s growing pains, but we’ll get through it. The more education we can do the better, and we’re able to do all of this because of the Ohio EPA grant. Those funds have helped us with all the re-signage” DePuy said.
“I know that students want to recycle, we need to make it easier, and we need to make it more efficient,” Jones said. “That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what we’re doing,”
On https://www.findlay.edu/about-uf/sustainability-initiatives/fgci-campus-recycling students can find out what can and can’t be recycled, the location of the new comingled recycling bins, and more information on the grant money from Ohio EPA.
UF updates will be sent out twice a month and Oiler Mobile app notifications will be sent once a month for the rest of the academic year to keep students informed.
Edit (9/7/21 12:02 p.m.): Featured photo added. Courtesy of University of Findlay Flickr and Rumpke Waste & Recycling.