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Giving Waste a Second Life
By Alex Credgington

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle... Everyone knows the phrase.

Smart CanEveryone also knows that we each need to reduce our waste to sustain a healthy planet. But did you know that the University of Washington actually recycles more than it throws away? UW has an award-winning Recycling & Solid Waste program with a current diversion rate of 57%. That is, the University is diverting 57% of its waste from local landfills toward businesses and organizations that give materials a second life.

Recycling today is much more than just cans and bottles. It is an intricate system of partnerships and information that constantly changes. UW Recycling & Solid Waste stays on top of trends and technology to provide the UW community with the most sustainable practices. You can keep up to date with the proper disposal of hundreds of materials listed on Recycling & Solid Waste’s A-Z list. You can also help UW reach its goal of 70% diversion by 2020 by taking steps to reduce the amount of waste you produce and properly dispose of what you do produce. Below are a few ideas:

  • Buy less, or buy reusable.
  • Seek out recycling and composting bins instead of throwing all items in the trash.
  • Use less paper and reuse scrap paper.
  • Choose durable serviceware over compostable and non-compostable items when possible, and bring your own refillable containers for leftovers.
  • Print double-sided when you have more than one page.
  • Donate reusable items to a local charity.

Contact UW Recycling & Solid Waste for more information.


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Second Life