Waste sort reveals half the trash from PSU building is recyclable, compostable
Author: Campus Sustainability Office
Posted: December 4, 2012

In a salute to America Recycles Day on November 15, sustainability staff from PSU’s Market Center Building set out to understand the types of waste building residents send to the landfill. Donning gloves and reflective orange vests, volunteers sorted though two days of the building’s trash. What they found was astounding: less than half of the trash was actually trash.

Compostable and recyclable items made up more than half of the load's volume. Volunteers also filled seven curbside bins full of disposable cups and food containers, which are not usually recyclable but are easy to avoid by opting for reusable cups and containers.

By 2030, PSU’s goal is to reduce landfill-bound waste to just 10 percent of the total waste we generate, meaning 90 percent is recycled, composted, or reused.

What you can do to help PSU reach this goal:

  • Bring a reusable mug to the coffee shop for your caffeine fix. Many shops offer discounts for bringing your own mug.
  • Collect compost in your office. Submit a work order for a stainless steel compost bin and create a rewards system for staff that volunteer to take the bag to a central compost collection location. Click here for a campus compost map. 
  • Make it easy, put up signs. Download and print recycling signs from this page and place near your office’s collection bins.
  • Donate unwanted office supplies to the ReUse Room by submitting a work order for pick-up.
  • Enroll in the reusable to-go container programs at Viking Food Court in Smith or at River’s Edge Café in the 200 Market Building.