Office of Sustainability begins new recycling method

Joshua Farmer

Freshman Dustin Parlier recycles a bottle in the new single stream bins.  Paul Heckert | The Appalachian
Appalachian State University’s Office of Sustainability will provide a new method of recycling on campus called single stream recycling, which includes new bins, said Linda Toth, a Zero Waste outreach assistant.

The new bins will be added during spring break and students will be able to throw all recycling away in one bin instead of separating it first.

Test bins have already been added to Raley Hall and Edwin Duncan Hall and have been successful, Toth said.

“Recycling rates increased about 30 percent overnight,” Toth said. “Single stream makes recycling easier once the community understands all the materials that can be included.”

Toth said that Foothills Sanitation and Recycling, the Appalachian service provider for recycling, is now capable of sorting single-stream recycling, making the switch possible for the university.

This change is part of the Zero Waste Initiative, a five-step program to better Appalachian’s consumption habits, said Jennifer Maxwell, a resource conservation specialist with the Office of Sustainability.

The steps include a comprehensive waste audit, the expansion of reusing and recycling efforts, the expansion of composting efforts, the institution of an Environmentally Preferable Purchasing Program and the encouragement of campus engagement.

“When one is responsible for and more connected to their personal waste stream, there is opportunity to make the connection to their own personal consumption habits, which leads to increased waste reduction,” said Maxwell.

By the year 2022, the Zero Waste Initiative hopes to increase diversion from landfills from the current 40 percent up to 90 percent, Toth said.

Story: NINA MASTANDREA, Intern News Reporter

Photo: PAUL HECKERT, Photo Editor