What Can You Drop in Those Blue Bins?

Garbology 101: What Can You Drop in Those Blue Bins?The University of Maryland, Baltimore aims to recycle 40 percent of its waste in 2016. You can help! Why should you participate in the University’s recycling program?

“Recycling uses less resources, which has less of an impact on the environment,” says Mark Drymala, recycling coordinator with the Department of Operations and Maintenance (OM).

In Garbology 101, a UMB Go Green-sponsored sustainability workshop held Jan. 29, 2012, Drymala instructed the University community on what can be trashed and what can be recycled. The University employs a dual-stream recycling program, which separates paper and cardboard from other items such as plastic, glass, and metals. 

Small electronics such as ink cartridges, batteries, and cellphones also can be recycled, says Drymala; although bins are in the process of being distributed across campus. For those offices without an electronics recycling bin, Drymala asks that you submit a work request for a small electronics collection through OM.

You also can drop off small electronics at your nearest Best Buy or IKEA

Other bulky items that can be recycled at the University are books (with a work request form) and T12 fluorescent light bulbs. “These bulbs are currently being retrofitted across campus with more efficient T8 bulbs, and T5 bulbs are used in new construction,” Drymala says.

To request additional recycling bins for your area, contact the Operations and Maintenance Service Center at 6-7570.

OM has its sights set on recycling confidential documents, too. The office is in the process of acquiring an industrial shredder bailer. Confidential documents currently are disposed of in locked bins at the University and shredded and recycled at an outside facility. This request would keep confidential documents in-house and cut down costs.

To further divert recyclable material from our waste stream, OM is looking into composting animal bedding used in research facilities, currently thrown away at an estimated rate of three-quarters of a ton per day (in just two of eight facilities).

Also, the University is collecting recycling outside! Renovations to University Plaza Park include the addition of outdoor recycling bins — the first at the University.

— Tracy Gnadinger

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