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Making Recycling Easier On Your Campus

By Sharon Chen
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Northwestern University is working to increase its landfill diversion rate by switching up its recycling operations. The university has switched from dual-stream recycling to mixed recycling collection, which means that paper and cardboard are collected with glass, plastic, and aluminum in one container. Previously, the university required that all recycling by separated. By making it easier and more convenient for students and faculty to recycle, and for recycling companies to collect, Northwestern sustainability officials hope to divert more waste from landfills. Mixed recycling collection can be an easy and relatively low-cost way for your campus to increase landfill diversion and encourage sustainable behaviors. Providing people with simple, personal ways to go green is an effective gateway to more sustainable behaviors. For more ideas on how your campus can lead on climate action, please join us on the Path to Positive


Northwestern University adopts "mixed recycling"

Mike Kennedy | American School & University | February 17, 2018

Northwestern University has begun changing its recycling operation as it tries to reduce waste to landfill by 20 percent over the next four years.

The Evanston, Ill.-based university says it has switched from dual-stream recycling to single “mixed recycling,” in which paper and cardboard are collected with cans, bottles and plastics in the same recycling bin.

“This change will make recycling more convenient for campus participants, potentially pushing our recycling rate higher. It will also streamline recycling bin needs and make collections easier,” says Julie Cahillane, a manager in the Office of Sustainability. “We want to make recycling effective and easy for the Northwestern community.”

The school will change receptacles in most common areas of its campus locations in Evanston and Chicago by the end of April. The rollout involves updating labeling, replacing bin lids and training for campus custodians and the greater community on the changes.

The revised collection method will bring Northwestern in line with residential recycling practices in Evanston and Chicago.

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