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October 6, 2005

Personal recycling bins on the way to your desk

UW Recycling is continuing its Stop-Think-Recycle campaign this week. The fall campaign is being called “evolutionary,” and it involves the distribution of personal recycle bins to all workstations on campus.


Distribution will occur primarily during the morning and will involve UW Recycling staff who will be easily identifiable in their campaign t-shirts. Yesterday, the crew visited The Burke Museum and the law school; today they’ll be in Denny and Parrington Halls.


“We’re calling this evolutionary because we’ve evolved as a society from throwing things into the garbage to recycling,” said Pat Kaufman, recycling program operations manager. “The City of Seattle has taken it a step farther by making it against the law to put paper in the garbage.”


There won’t be any penalties for violating the city’s ordinance until January 2006, but the UW is moving forward now to make sure everyone on campus can easily obey the new city ordinance. “We want to make it convenient for each person to participate,” Kaufman said.


Seattle has a goal of diverting 60 percent of waste to the recycling stream, which includes all paper (office paper, newspaper, and cardboard). When penalties are instituted, individuals and businesses will be fined for putting paper in the garbage.


A self-study that Recycling conducted on campus last year found that 39 percent of the landfill waste produced by the UW is paper and could have been recycled. Thus the Stop-Think-Recycle campaign that began last winter. “We decided we needed to go out and personally deliver each bin, so we could be able to talk to people one to one about recycling,” Kaufman said.


Campus buildings where bin distribution is taking place will get a special display in a public area to inform people about the distribution of personal recycle bins. There will also be sandwich boards displayed on campus during the distribution period.


Contact Pat Kaufman or Ari Kasapyan at www.uwrecycling.com for more details, including dates and times distribution will take place. “We expect to be doing this until Thanksgiving,” Kaufman said.