How Do I Recycle at UIC?
Recycling stations of different shapes and sizes can be found in the hallways in every building at UIC and should be no more than a few steps away from your office, classroom or lab. These stations usually consist of three bins ("Paper"; "Bottles & Cans"; and "Landfill"). You can recycle paper, cardboard, bottles, cans, and most plastics, just to name a few.
How to Recycle at UIC in Less Than 5 Minutes Heading link
This recycling tutorial will walk you through the steps of what and how to recycle at UIC in less than 5 minutes.
Recyle materials in your DESK-SIDE RECYCLING BIN in your office Heading link
Seven-gallon desk-side recycling containers and hanging “side saddles” are provided in offices. Your desk-side recycling container may be gray or blue – either color is fine – and is intended for paper, empty bottles, cans, and other glass, metal or plastic containers. The smaller “side-saddle” are intended for landfill-bound materials like non-recyclable plastics, mixed material items, or heavily food-soiled items. For staff and students in the residence halls, there are recycling bins in individual rooms or common areas.
Take your materials to the HALLWAY BINS Heading link
Students, faculty, and office staff are expected to empty their desk-side recycling bins and side-saddle landfill containers when full. This means you must carry your trash and recyclables to nearby recycling stations and separate the materials into the appropriate bins. Cardboard should be flattened and placed behind the hallway bins.
These recycling stations usually consist of three bins (Paper; Glass, Metal & Plastic; and Landfill) and are located at set intervals throughout hallways and larger common areas in most buildings, with easy access from desk-side unit locations. To purchase new recycling stations for your unit, department, or college, first consult with the UIC Recycling Bin Standard.
Building Service Workers transfer your materials from the hallway bin to the loading dock Heading link
Building Service Workers (BSWs) empty the hallway recycling stations regularly and move the contents to a central collection point. You will see the BSW place a bag of bottles and cans in the same barrel with a bag of paper and trash. That’s ok! The bags are just mingled for a little bit while they make their trip up and down the hallways and eventually to your building’s dock area.
Once in the dock, the BSW will take the bag of bottles and cans and put in the 95-gallon blue tote, the bag of paper into the 95-gallon green tote or cardboard compactor, and the trash bag into the dumpster.
You can also recycle in the OUTDOOR BIGBELLY SOLAR RECYCLING CONTAINERS Heading link
You can recycle in BigBelly Solar compacting trash and recycling containers found scattered outdoors around campus. These bins use solar power to compact the waste and recyclables into smaller spaces, thus creating more room and less pick-ups. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are reduced by the decreased number of vehicle trips (gas/ diesel emissions), as well as the increased number of items being recycled (instead of sent to landfill) leading to about 50 tons per year of GHG emissions reduction.
When the bins are full, the UIC Grounds Department is sent a signal via UIC Wi-Fi and then the bins are emptied and hauled away to a collection point. With fewer recycling pick-ups, Bigbelly allows the Grounds Department to save time in waste collection and can deploy crews to other much-needed assignments across campus and improve productivity.
Materials are moved from the dock to the sorting facilities Heading link
UIC Transportation visits every dock on campus at least once a week or as-needed and collects the contents of the green and blue totes, and the cardboard compactor in the recycling truck. UIC Transportation will also pick up the trash on a regular schedule in the garbage truck.
Where does our discarded materials go? Heading link
How recycling works at UIC Heading link
Place all recyclable materials in the small bin by your desk, and empty your bins in the hallway sorting stations.
Sort the materials in the hallway stations. If you’re unsure of what goes in which bin, check our recyclable materials page or ask your building service worker. We all have a responsibility to properly recycle at UIC.
UIC personnel collect bags of recyclables from the hallway stations, often placing both recycling and landfill bags in one hauling cart. Black bags are for landfill-found materials. Clear bags are for recycling.
UIC Recycling Program Collections
UIC transportation staff collect all trash and recycling in our trucks and haul materials to the local sorting facility. Once there, black bags are put aside and sent to the landfill, while clear bags are hand-sorted for recycling. Help make these recycling sorter’s jobs easier and less stinky by rinsing your recyclable food containers before putting them in the recycling bin.
The recycled goods are further broken down into reusable materials, for example, paper products become pulp; plastic bottles transform into pellets; glass turns into cullet; and cans are melted and made into new cans. These materials are made into paper, plastic, and glass products, or depending on the facility, they are shipped to another manufacturing factory or mill. Glass and metal both keep their same properties through the recycling process and can be recycled indefinitely. Paper and plastic degrade in quality each time they are recycled, until they become products that cannot be recycled again, such as paper towels/ tissue/ toilet paper for paper products, or a park bench for plastics.
Product to Shelf
Before you know it, the materials are back on the shelf! In some regions of the U.S. aluminum cans are back on the shelves in less than 30 days! Material you recycle at UIC becomes Anheuser Busch cans, Mohawk carpets, International tissue and newspaper!
Buy Recycled/ Recyclable Goods
Create the demand for recycled goods. Purchasing items containing recycled content creates a circular economy keeping resources in use and out of the landfill. Paper, file folders, notebooks, and stationary are often made from virgin wood – next time you shop, look for post-consumer recycled content on the label to support recycling.