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Thursday, Mar. 11, 2010

This is Santa Clara’s fourth year competing in the RecycleMania: a friendly, nationwide competition between colleges and universities to promote recycling awareness and reduce campus waste. The competition is a ten-week period that runs from January 17 through March 27. SCU is competing in the Waste Diversion category; this competition division awards the school that can divert the most amount of waste through recycling and composting and send the least amount of waste to landfills. On a weekly basis, the University tracks the weights of our combined landfill, co-mingle items, paper, corrugated cardboard, and compost, and submits them to the RecycleMania Program.

For those interested in tracking Santa Clara’s weekly progress, visit the RecycleMania web site to view SCU’s rankings by nation, by region, by state, and by various items diverted.

Best Way to Help:
Fuzzy on your recycling and composting knowledge? Remember, each time you recycle and compost, you're preventing waste from being buried indefinitely in a landfill. Also, take advantage of reusable water bottles and Dining Services' Eco-Tray program when you’re on the go.

Please Compost food scraps, Bon Appetit To-Go items (such as coffee cups, cold drink cups, salad & fruit containers, and utensils), wood coffee stirrers, paper straw wrappers, napkins, tea bags, coffee grounds, and coffee filters.

Remember that Pepsi cups from Benson CANNOT go in the compost!

Please Recycle Glass, Aluminum, Plastics #1-7 (check the underside of your container for the symbol), and Paper (such as printer paper, magazines, and newspaper) by putting them in any recycling receptacle on campus. E-Waste is anything that uses an electric cord or battery and Universal Waste includes cell phones, batteries, CFL's, chargers, and ink cartridges; residents can leave these items at residence hall service desks. Faculty and staff should call Facilities to request a pickup. Students should place corrugated cardboard and leave at residence hall dumpsters under the 'Cardboard' sign, and Faculty/Staff should leave it behind the common-area waste containers. Please don't forget to flatten your cardboard boxes!

Items that cannot be recycled or composted, such as Pepsi cups, Styrofoam, chip bags, condiment wrappers (basically most plastic and foil packaging), sushi trays, and outside to-go containers should be placed in the trash.

How is SCU improving waste diversion?
Waste characterizations are a means of collecting data on current resident waste diversion habits. By seeing the amount of items that could potentially be recycled, composted, or unnecessarily thrown away, we determine the components of waste diversion education we need to improve on.

At least once a quarter, volunteers take bags of trash from a standard residence hall trash dumpster and sort EVERYTHING into categories of glass, aluminum, plastics #1-7, paper, cardboard, food waste, biodegradable foodware, E-waste, universal waste, paper towels, toilet paper rolls, Styrofoam, reusables, and landfill waste.

The University is improving our waste diversion... but we still have a lot of opportunities for improvement. Please help by sending your feedback to Facilities (554-4742, or to our Recycling Intern (

Any questions?
If you have any questions about where any item goes, or if you would like to get involved, email

Tags: Campus Operations, Program Highlights, Waste



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