Your recycling habits can make a difference for Ohio State! During an eight-week time period starting February 3, the university will measure the amount of recycled materials on the Columbus campus for the annual RecycleMania competition that includes more than 300 schools in North America. Ohio State finished in 5th place in 2018, diverting more than one million pounds of materials from the landfill. Your participation this year can help us raise the bar and move Ohio State closer to achieving the zero waste goal.
We are appreciative for the efforts of those who recycle, but incorrect recycling can cause contamination, turning entire bags of recycling into trash. Some of the most common contaminants include:
Cups: Looks like paper and feels like paper, but isn't. Your paper coffee cup actually has a waterproof plastic liner, making the single-use coffee cup unable to be recycled. When you use a single-use coffee cup, dispose of your cup in the trash. Before you do, slip off the cardboard sleeve and place it in a recycling bin. Minimize your waste by swapping your single-use cup for a reusable mug.
Paper towels/napkins: Even though paper towels are made of paper, they are not recyclable. Paper towels are often made from recycled paper pulp, a non-recyclable product. Then they are often dirty or wet when we are done with them, which degrades them further and makes them non-recyclable. Toss all napkins, paper towels, and tissues in the trash bin.
Takeout container: Only plastics in a bottle shape (having a narrower mouth than body) can be recycled. Any plastic that is not bottle-shaped — including food containers, plastic plates, cups, utensils, and straws — are NOT recyclable at Ohio State. Toss these in the trash bin.