What Can I Recycle?

If there’s one thing you remember about Recycling on Maryville’s Campus:

WHEN IN DOUBT, RECYCLE IT!!!


YES:                                                                              NO:

Plastic #1-7                                                                 Liquid
Paper                                                                            Styrofoam
Kaldi’s To-Go Cups                                                     Plastic Bags
Aluminum (soda cans)                                                 Food
Glass                                                                            Chip Bags
To-Go Containers


FAQs/Common Misconceptions:

“You can’t recycle your to-go box because there’s still food/grease/salad dressing/etc. in it”

WRONG! If you have a few french fries left, throw them out then recycle the container. Unless it has been submerged in the fryer, a small bit of grease doesn’t make it trash. This includes pizza boxes. When in doubt, recycle it.

“I’ve always been told that you can’t recycle _____________…”

Well, that’s tricky. Different municipalities use different facilities, and not all facilities recycle the same “stuff”. Your city may only recycle plastic #1-2, glass, and paper. Someone on the other side of the state may be able to recycle plastic #1-5 and paper but only if it’s separated. Here at Maryville, we use a Single Stream Dirty MRF, which enables YOU to throw anything you think might be recyclable into our recycling bins which is why we say “When in doubt, recycle it.”

What is a Single Stream recycling facility?

“Single Stream” means that we don’t have to sort our recyclables here; they’ll do it at the facility.

What is a Dirty MRF?

“Dirty MRF” means that our facility will remove what they are unable to recycle. This is the most important part of our “Single Stream Dirty MRF Facility”: the “When in doubt, recycle it” part.

What do you mean Plastic #1-7?

If you’ve ever turned a plastic anything over to see if there’s a little recycle symbol on the container, chances are you’ve seen a little number in the middle of the symbol. We’ll start out by saying that there are different kinds of plastic. Although it’s ultimately all made from petroleum, different additives are used to give plastic different properties. This little number indicative of the type of plastic used and therefore, what process it must undergo to be recycled. #3 and #6 are often not accepted, but can be recycled here at Maryville.

recycle-numbers

What about cardboard; that’s paper, right?

Yes, cardboard is essentially thick paper. However if the cardboard in question is corrugated, there’s a special collection bin behind the library (it’s really big and really blue) where it should go. The University makes money by recycling corrugated cardboard, so it’s preferred that it ends up in that big, blue bin.

What’s the difference between cardboard and corrugated cardboard?

If you look at a cardboard box, you can see that it’s made up of three distinct layers: a flat piece, a ribbed or zigzag piece, and another flat piece. That zigzag is the corrugated layer that gives the cardboard strength without compromising its light weight; corrugated = shaped into alternate ridges and grooves. When it’s not corrugated, it’s referred to as “chip board” and makes things like cereal boxes.

cardboard-stack-fotolia

Can I recycle electronics?

Not in the recycling bins. In the spring semester, the Center for Sustainability usually sponsors an electronics recycling drive. This includes items such as televisions, laptops, printers, cell phones, etc. If you can hold onto your outdated electronics until then and bring them in during the drive, that’s fantastic. If you need if off your hands ASAP, contact Peggy Lauer at plauer@maryville.edu for further information.

More questions? Leave a comment and we’ll get back to you!

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