Your Blue Bin: WM’s Got it Sorted

Waste Management is SMU’s new recycling service, and they came to campus to let us know what’s up. The following is a summary of what E-Reps Jewel Lipps, Nick Saulnier, and Gwen Carris learned.

Recycling, as simple as it gets for SMU


* all kinds of paper and cardboard
* all plastics with a number
* aluminum and tin cans


* food
* glass
* styrofoam or foam cups
* pizza boxes
* coffee cups

Clear bag=recycle
Black bag=landfill

That’s it. That’s really the gist of it. Not so hard, right? We could totally take on a little more. So how about this?

At Hughes Trigg, when we go to check our mailbox, we can drop off for recycling

* ink cartridges and toner
* pens and markers
* cell phones

Also, facilities will pick up other recyclables like printer cartridges, electronics, metals, and lightbulbs. Just send in a work order!

Single stream recycling can accept about 10% contamination. If it’s not wet, you’re set!
What’s a problem: leaving cardboard out in the rain
What’s not a problem: drops of soda or water or yogurt
Clear bags let the workers glance in and make sure we’re not trying to recycle a bag full of banana peels. A misplaced glass bottle isn’t gonna make them put the whole bag in the trash, Waste Management will just sort it out later.

According to Keith Gardner, our facilities director, the biggest problem area on campus is Hughes Trigg. We’re putting our waxy coffee cups and waxy drink cups and greasy pizza boxes and greasy chic-fila boxes in the blue bin. That’s where bottles and cans should go, y’all.

If you want to be a recycling guru, here’s a little FAQ

1. Styrofoam or foam cups? NO. They’ll sort it out and send it to a landfill. It’s a waste of time and money to recycle it. Best thing to do is bring your own mug or cup.

2. What about liquid in containers? Do things need to be rinsed? Liquid is not a big deal! Please pour liquid out, but those little left over drops of soda, juice, or water don’t matter.

3. Do we need to remove caps? No. Both cap and bottle are recyclable.

4. What about metals besides aluminum? Not at this facility, but it doesn’t really matter. The wrong kinds of metals can be easily sorted out and sent to a landfill. If its a metal can and you’re not sure of the difference between aluminum, steel, tin, etc., go ahead and recycle it.

5. What about different kinds of paper? Yes! Newspaper, printer paper, colored paper, lined paper, glossy paper, cardboard paper, yes yes yes to paper. One caveat- coffee cups are a no-no.

6. What about yogurt cups? Sure! Not a big deal, they can totally handle yogurt stuck to plastic. If you don’t finish, dump it out in the trash and recycle the container.

The moral of the story- recycling is necessary. Waste Management is courteously making it as easy for us as possible. Do them a favor and learn a little about how to keep it it sorted.

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