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Recycling History and Tips

In 2008, UMass Lowell began its centralized single-stream recycling program. Bins are provided in centralized, high-traffic areas, and serviced by housekeeping staff at least once a day. To learn more about our single stream recycling program please check out our Zero-Sort Recycling page.

The Office of Sustainability has been continually working to assess our trash and recycling infrastructure, improve signage on our existing bins, improve dialog between our office and housekeeping staff, optimize the location and appearance of centralized collection areas and bring on new high-visibility areas that lacked recycling. This is a large scale project that will continue for a number of years moving forward. We will not be adding additional desk-side recycling infrastructure.

Many offices, buildings, and individuals have created or were provide with a desk-side recycling system. For those individuals who have such systems at their desk, if they work for you, please continue to use it or pass it on to another person.

Here are some tips to make them work best for you:

  • At your desk post up images of our accepted materials in recycling and trash containers so you know what materials go where.
  • Place only clean recyclables at your desk-side containers, any dirty waste containing leftover food or sugar should be immediately brought to the nearest centralized receptacles or left on your desk until you can bring them to a container. This includes used take out containers, fruit rinds, fruit cores, beverage containers that have had dairy or sugar in them, etc.
  • Always line your desk side containers and change them regularly to prevent any unwanted smells and pests. This is a great way to reuse plastic bags you get from stores.

If you follow these steps it should help limit or eliminate any unwanted smells and pests.

Tips Specifically for Summer

As an aside, particularly in the height of summer, fruit flies can be a problem pest for many offices. For added protection against fruit flies please pay extra attention to the tips provided above and consider adding temporary lids to the centralized receptacles in your offices and at your desks. Also, please limit leaving garden and fruit items out for all office members to take home. They become great breeding sounds for pests.