TU keeping green

Tiffin University is “Going Green in 2013.”

That’s the slogan behind the rollout of TU’s can, bottle and plastic recycling program that began this month.

TU has been recycling paper for three years. Expanding the program to include other recyclables has been in the works since then and now is ready to “go live” according to Jan Samoriski, professor of communication and chair of Tiffin University’s Green Committee.

“Many individuals have worked hard to make recycling a reality on campus. This is a major step forward in making our campus community greener and cleaner,” Samoriski said.

Students will return from spring break to find more than 70 recycling containers placed around campus. Containers will range from small bins to larger receptacles and big event recycling stations. Receptacles will be marked with the universal recycling symbol and instructions on what kinds of recyclables to deposit. An awareness campaign is also planned to coincide with the launch of the program to help students, faculty and staff get used to placing cans and bottles into recycling containers instead of into the trash.

Tiffin University will be implementing what is called single stream recycling, according to Samoriski. This means no separation is required and all items can simply be put into the containers. Since TU recycles paper separately, paper materials can be placed into existing bins as they have been in the past.

According to Samoriski, the Green Committee had to find a company that took single stream recycling; the company went with Rumpke Recycling, which also picks up some of the other big recyclers like the villages, townships, Heidleberg University and the YMCA.

Acceptable items under the new recycling program include plastics (no lids) such as milk containers, soft drink, water, laundry detergent and shampoo bottles, glass jars and bottles of any color and aluminum and steel cans from beverages and food.

“Recycling will be collected regularly and placed into three large recycling dumpsters that will be placed strategically around campus. A commercial recycler will empty the dumpsters weekly,” Samoriski said.

The recycling containers were purchased through a grant from the Ottawa, Sandusky, and Seneca Solid Waste Management District. Members of Tiffin University’s Green Committee met with district representatives to get advice on what to expect in the early phases of a recycling program.

“We’ve been told that recycling volume will increase over time as the campus community gets used to recycling and every can or bottle that is recycled is one less that will end up in a landfill,” Samoriski said.

“The big thing we want to do, besides getting as much awareness and participation in recycling on campus, is get the city of Tiffin to join us and others in recycling. Mayor Montz is very supportive of recycling, but city council has been reluctant to institute a curbside program. We’re leading by example,” Samoriski said. “We also plan to create more awareness in the community in hopes of convincing City Council to act on a citywide recycling initiative. Other communities the size of Tiffin have recycling programs.”