How To: Recycle


Sarah Bennett photo

The Sustainability Club created the above tables for a sustainable living event, providing guidelines on proper recycling procedures.

Sarah Bennet, M.S., Sustainability officer

Recycling is an easy way to reduce your impact on the environment and is required at Mercyhurst University. Mercyhurst participates in single-stream recycling through two different waste management companies: Waste Management and Pro Waste.

Single-stream recycling allows you to place all of your recyclables into one bin. They then are sorted at the manufacturing recycling facility (MRF). While this adds convenience for you, it increases the contamination of recyclables, reducing their market value. This could cause those items to become non-recyclable.

Contamination is easily avoidable if you recycle correctly. The following are important guidelines for recycling:

1. Follow the signs in student rooms and by public bins to decide what times should be placed in bins. When in doubt, throw it out.

2. Always empty and rinse recyclables to prevent food contamination.

3. Paper and cardboard stained with grease (i.e., pizza boxes) are not recyclable.

4. Coffee cups from campus food service are not recyclable, but the lids and cardboard sleeves are.

5. Plastic grocery bags are not recyclable in single-stream recycling but can be reused or recycled at grocery stores.

6. Food wrappers are never recyclable.

Remember, reducing your use of disposable items is the best way to reduce your impact on the environment. Use reusable grocery bags, water bottles and dishes. Get a discount when you take your own mug to the bookstore coffee shop, and plan ahead to avoid convenience food. Contact Mercyhurst University Sustainability Coordinator Sarah Bennett with questions.