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Division of Student Affairs

UNI integrates in-room recycling to all residence halls

Posted on Friday, August 13th, 2010

In-room recycling will be available in all residence halls and the ROTH apartment complex beginning this fall at the University of Northern Iowa. 

UNI will distribute 2,800 recycling containers to dorm rooms and ROTH apartments.  A room in each residence hall and ROTH has been designated as the collection center for sorting recycled plastic, tin, glass, cardboard and mixed paper. 

Steps towards bringing in-room recycling to students on-campus began after a successful recycling pilot program showed that individual recycling bins were effective for increasing recycling. 

The UNI Recycling and Reuse Technology Transfer Center (RRTTC) implemented the pilot program known as Rider Recycling Revolution (RRR) in the fall 2009.  All residents in Rider Hall received recycling bins, and measurements were taken on a weekly basis. 

According to the results from the RRR pilot program, Rider Hall averaged less than 40 pounds per week of recycling before residents were given recycling bins in individual rooms.  The semester after implementing in-room recycling, the results showed that Rider Hall averaged 121 pounds of recycling per week. 

"The Rider Recycling Revolution acted as a catalyst with its results showing how much of an impact this type of program can have in changing behavior, creating positive communities and helping improve our environment," said Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator. 

On-campus residents will be responsible for getting recycled materials to the hall collection center.  The current plan includes a weekly pick up by City Carton on Wednesdays, adding a Friday pick up if necessary.

"Many students come to UNI with the good habit of recycling and have an expectation that they can continue to recycle in their new home at UNI," said Pat Beck, assistant director of marketing for the UNI Department of Residence.  "Those who do not have the habit of recycling can easily join the effort to reduce the carbon footprint of the UNI residence communities."

(Released by UNI University Relations August 12)