Allison Mihalich | October 23, 2018
Due to changes in the global market, recycling haulers have implemented stricter requirements for what they will accept as recyclable.
As a result, the University has changed campus recycling procedures to ensure the recycling stream is clean and items are actually recovered and recycled. Leaders ask faculty, staff, students and visitors to be vigilant and sort and clean recyclables before throwing them into a recycling bin, and when in doubt to throw them out.
A single contaminated item among a load of otherwise clean recyclables will cause the entire load to end up in a landfill.
Why so strict?
Much of the recyclable material collected in America is sent overseas. It’s a commodity. But there’s been a shift in the global market, and less of the material is accepted because of the amount of contamination in and on items. (Think of residual cheese or grease inside a pizza box.) The market change has caused waste management and recycling businesses in the U.S. that haul recyclables from homes and businesses to lose money because less of their product is accepted by international companies.
To adapt to the changed market, customers such as like Notre Dame must adjust their recycling habits. Other institutions, municipalities and companies across the country face the same pressure as Notre Dame and are moving forward with similar modifications in recycling practices.
Read more here.