NAU’s Office of Sustainability, under the Office of the President and Flagstaff’s Partnership in Recycling Education, is working to improve recycling collection rates on campus.

New labeling efforts currently under way in cooperation with campus building managers are expected to help meet this goal.

“The university has a long history of successful recycling programs, including an award-winning year in 1994 when we won the National Recycling Coalition Competition,” said Heather Farley, NAU’s sustainability coordinator. “The new labeling system on campus presents an opportunity to continue that legacy by keeping our waste streams clean and consistent, thereby ensuring increased recycling rates across campus.”

Trash bins under desks will be labeled with a green sticker for recycling only, to be used for paper, cans and plastic. Trash bins in hallways, common spaces and restrooms will be labeled with a brown sticker for landfill waste such as food, styrofoam and coffee cups.

Separating wet landfill waste helps custodians to reduce contamination by keeping this waste in separate bags. These bags may end up in either a green or brown dumpster outside, but this is not a problem because the landfill waste bag has been kept separate from recyclables, maintaining the integrity of the campus’ waste stream.

Recyclable materials include:

  • paper (white paper, colored paper, letters, junk mail, newspapers, magazines, and catalogs),
  • cardboard
  • aluminum and steel cans
  • plastic (# 1-7 including soda and water bottles, plastic food containers and lids)

Landfill waste includes:

  • food
  • plastic wrap
  • styrofoam
  • paper plates
  • napkins
  • facial tissues
  • paper towels
  • zip lock bags