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University Policy on Recycling


DISTRIBUTION: WCU Campus Community

ISSUED BY: Executive Director of Facilities Management

EFFECTIVE: January 1, 2011 (Revision of Policy Dated February 1, 2008)

SUBJECT: WCU Recycling Program

A. Purpose:

To provide for a University Recycling Program.

B. Overview:

West Chester University has transformed into a greener campus. This is to demonstrate that a community can, through inquiry, education, and thoughtful design act in an environmentally sustainable fashion. Additionally under Act 101, the Municipal Waste Planning, Recycling, and Waste Reduction Act, the University is required to recycle various materials. In 1990 the University organized a campus-wide recycling program that has steadily evolved over the years. The campus has responded very well to recycling and the amount of collected recyclable materials has steadily increased. In addition to recycling, the University community is looking for ways to re-use or make better use of consumable items so that the amount of landfill waste is reduced.

In January 2008, the University's Recycling Program was restructured to eliminate contamination of our recycled paper stream and take advantage of current commingled recycling methods. Under this new plan, Mixed Office Paper was collected from set locations such as containers besides desks or in copy rooms. For Commingled recyclables only one container was needed. This recycling process was a positive transitional step, and the program made substantial gains using this method.

Beginning in January 2011, West Chester University will use the single-stream recycling approach: "All-In-One." With this method, commingled materials (glass, plastics, aluminum, and food cans) are collected in the same container with mixed paper and cardboard, thus simplifying the process for both the users and the collection team. The "All-In-One" containers will now be located everywhere--in hallways, classrooms, offices, copy rooms, lounge areas, etc. Recycled items are collected throughout the building by the Custodial Services staff and brought to one centrally-located recycling container. From there the recyclables are transported to an off-campus recycling processing plant where the materials are sorted and sold on the various recycling commodity markets.

For users, this one-step process is simple: throw any recyclable item in a recycling container, and we'll take it from there!

C. Types of Recyclable Materials:


  • Mixed Office Paper
  • Colored Paper
  • File or Manila Folders
  • Paper Grocery Bags
  • Envelopes
  • Pamphlets
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers & Inserts
  • Junk Mail
  • Paperback Books
  • Phone Books
  • Catalogs
  • Cardboard (Flattened)
  • Boxboard (Cereal & Cracker Boxes)
  • Empty Glass Bottles & Jars
  • Plastics #1-7 (No Styrofoam)
  • Aluminum Cans & Clean Foil
  • Aerosol Cans (Completely Empty)
  • Food Cans (Rinsed)

Not Permitted

  • No Styrofoam Packing Materials
  • No Restroom & Kitchen Waste
  • No Hardcover Books (**see below)
  • No Metal or Plastic Binders
  • No Waxed Paper
  • No Plastic Bags or Bubble Wrap
  • No Air Freight Envelopes
  • No Food-Tainted Items
  • (No used paper plates, utensils, or napkins)
  • (No greasy pizza boxes)
  • No Polystyrene Cups or Plates
  • No Motor Oil Bottles
  • No Hazardous Chemical Containers
  • No Electronics or Batteries
  • No Compact Discs or DVD's
  • No Ice Cream Cartons or Foam Egg Cartons
  • No Light Bulbs
  • No Clothes Hangers
  • No Yard Waste
  • No Toner Cartridges
  • **Hardback Books Must Have Covers Removed Before Recycling.


D. Responsibilities:

All parties at the University have a role in the Recycling process, as follows:

1. Faculty, Staff, and Students: The responsibility of the University community is simple: place the "Acceptable" recycled items (listed above) in the designated container. All of these items may be placed in the one blue container marked for this purpose. These containers are located in hallways, office kitchens, lounge areas, classrooms, computer labs, copy rooms, and beside the desks of faculty and staff. Recycling containers are also located on each floor in the residence halls. Cardboard boxes should be flattened and left next to the blue recycling containers. Plastic wrapping and Styrofoam should first be removed from the boxes and discarded as trash. Please assist the recycling effort by notdepositing garbage of any sort in the blue recycling containers. Your assistance in notifying the Recycling Coordinator (x2512) of any recycling problems or abuses will be appreciated.

2. Custodial Staff: The Custodial staff is responsible for collecting the recycled materials (a mixture of paper, cardboard, and commingled) from the blue containers at desks, in copy rooms, computer labs, hallways, classrooms, and each floor of residence halls. This recycled material must be kept separate from trash. Commingled items, paper, and cardboard are mixed together and placed in the recycling dumpster (or toter) outside of buildings. The recycled materials are carried outside and deposited in the nearest dumpster strategically placed near the large buildings. Dumpster lids need to be kept closed so that rain water does not get inside the container. At smaller buildings there will be toters located outside the building where the trash and recycling will be deposited. The toter for recycling will be clearly marked. On designated days, these toters will be rolled down to the curb so that the contractor can come along and empty them.

Discarded cardboard boxes left next to blue recycling containers inside the buildings should be flattened and placed inside the recycling dumpster or toter outside the building. Any plastic wrappings or styrofoam packing left in the cardboard boxes must be discarded as trash. The recycled materials may be either loose or in clear plastic bags. Shredded paper should be kept in a separate plastic bag. Only one large plastic bag is acceptable. Smaller plastic bags inside the large bag are not acceptable. Important Note: No trash or recycling can be left on the ground outside buildings. All trash and recycling must be placed inside the dumpster. If the dumpsters are full, then the trash and recycling must be kept inside the buildings until the dumpsters are emptied. Once aluminum cans are deposited in the blue containers in the hallways, they become the property of the University and cannot be removed for personal gain.

3. Moving Services will typically handle the collection of the locked Confidential Paper toters used for confidential papers. Moving Services will bring these locked toters back to 821 S. Matlack Street and secure them until their contents can be properly destroyed.

E. Recycling Procedures:

  1. It's simple: One "All-in-One" Recycling Container does it all! A blue recycling container will be distributed throughout the campus to accommodate the recycling needs of the University. All acceptable recyclables (clean paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, and food cans) can be mixed together and placed in the blue recycling container.
  2. A blue "All-in-One" recycling container for all recyclables (clean paper, cardboard, glass, plastic, aluminum, and food cans) will be widely available on most floors of campus buildings (as well as in most classrooms) for the collection of all recycled items.
  3. Small, blue recycling containers will be provided beside the desk of faculty and staff for the recycling of cans and bottles as well as office paper. Larger containers for the collection of office paper as well as cans and bottles will be provided in copy rooms and computer labs, and in the lobbies of each residence hall floor.
  4. No source separation is necessary—all recyclables can go in the deskside container using the small blue containers provided. Just make sure that any non-recyclable items (such as food waste) go in the waste container rather than in the recycling container. Custodial staff will continue to pick up the recycled items from residence hall floors, copy rooms, computer labs, and at each person's desk as well as from the classrooms and hallways of each building.
  5. The Custodial staff will collect the recycled items from building containers and carry it to a centrally-located recycling container. From there it will be picked up and delivered to a recycling processing center.
  6. Smaller pieces of cardboard can go in the recycling containers with the rest of the recycled items. Large cardboard boxes should be flattened and left next to the blue recycling containers so that the custodians can pick them up. Plastic wrapping and Styrofoam should first be removed from the boxes and discarded as trash.
  7. Used toner cartridges can no longer be processed through the recycling program. Departments can recycle these items by sending them back to the manufacturer via the return mailing label enclosed in the original box.
  8. Campus departments with extra large volumes of recycled files and papers should contact Moving Services via a Work Request to provide assistance with the clean-out process.
  9. Departments should arrange to the have the covers of hardback books removed before placing them in the recycling stream.
  10. Confidential Paper is paper which contains personal or business-sensitive information. Lockable toters for the collection of sensitive information at the department level are available from Moving Services upon request. When the lockable toters are full, they will be picked up by Moving Services upon request from campus departments via a Work Request. This sensitive paper is securely stored until there is a sufficient amount to be run through a large shredder.