Campus gets greener with new recycling program

Campus gets greener with new recycling program

Bloomsburg University Recycling Program

Bloomsburg University has teamed up with the Bloomsburg Recycling Center to change the way BU recycles. Since July 1, BU has used a dual-stream recyclable collection program that has increased the volume of recycled materials and made collection simpler and more convenient. Vince DiLoretto, Bloomsburg University’s custodial services director, and Charles Fritz, Bloomsburg Recycling Center’s environmental services administrator, were two key contributors in the new program.

“Our overall objective was to improve our recycling,” says DiLoretto, “taking what we do have and making it better with dual-stream.”

In September of 2012, for example, the university collected 15,650 pounds of recycled materials. During September of this year, the university collected 39,720 pounds — a 254 percent increase.

Dual-stream recycling is a process in which all container recyclables are collected separately from mixed-paper recyclables. With this system, the Bloomsburg Recycling Center can collect recyclable materials with as little contamination as possible. New dual-stream bins were placed throughout Elwell Residence Hall. With fewer bins at each site, the dual-stream program allows for more sites on campus, making recycling more available to students and faculty.

Another feature of improving the recycling program recycling program includes new bins at every outdoor collection site on campus. These bins accept mixed plastics #1 through #7, cans and bottles that contribute significantly to the increased volume of recyclable materials.

The other major change in BU recycling comes from Dining Services, which previously handled its recycling separately. Now all university recyclables, on both upper and lower campus, head to the Bloomsburg Recycling Center.

The increased volume of recyclables from the university prompted changes on the town’s end, Fritz explains. As soon as trucks bring in daily loads from the university, they are weighed and a scale ticket is printed as a record of materials. Glass, plastics and cans are brought to the sorting line, a massive conveyor belt, where they are separated by center employees at four picking stations. Each of the seven grades of plastics, aluminum cans and glass are sorted into their designated bins. At the end of the line, a strong magnet pulls up and sorts the remaining steel cans. The glass, after it has been separated, is crushed and sent out to be processed.

After recycled materials have been separated, compacted and bundled, they are sold by the truckload, 20 tons at a time. The money earned goes toward maintenance and upkeep of the non-profit center, which was established in 1977.

With the new program in place, the relationship between the university and the Town of Bloomsburg has grown stronger. When trucks from the center come for pick-up, they are labeled clearly with “recycling,” showcasing the university’s strides to be an environmentally green campus. According to Fritz, collection is going smoothly, with recycling center personnel learning when to gather items from the collection sites without blocking students heading to class or dining areas. Asked about the quality of recyclables from BU, Fritz says, “We’ve been getting good stuff. So far it’s been working out really well.”

DiLoretto hopes to incorporate dual-stream bins into the rest of the residence halls, academic building and offices. When dual-stream bins are established across campus, he plans to focus on awareness and recycling education with the help of environmental organizations like the Green Campus Initiative and HOPE (Help Our Planet Earth). #BUSustainability

— Sean Williams ’15