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Recycling in Dartmouth's Undergraduate Residential Buildings

Dartmouth has changed the way recyclable materials are collected and transported to the recycling facility. Starting in late June, Dartmouth began using a “zero sort” or “single stream” recycling method. The intent is to make recycling easier and to increase the volume of items that are diverted from the waste stream into the recycling stream.

In the past, items needed to be sorted by type at both on-floor locations as well as at central consolidation areas. Custodial staff would put the specific items out for pick-up by FO&M on the appropriate day for the specific item. For example, white paper had its own bin and was put out for pick-up on white paper day. #1 and #2 plastic had their own collection bin and were put out for pick-up on the day for plastics.

The goal is to change over to this new method of collection during the fall term of 2010. New signage at trash and recycling locations will explain what can go into each container, and information will be made available to all students to help them better understand the new process. In most locations, blue recycling barrels will be paired with gray trash barrels. Both will have appropriate signage.

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What’s the difference between “zero sort” and “single stream” recycling?
Both terms describe a method of recycling where paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum cans are co-mingled as they are collected. Dartmouth works with Northeast Waste, part of Casella Waste Systems of Rutland, Vt., to recycle these items, which are processed at a facility in Williston, VT or Charleston, MA, designed to process the items.

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What are the items that can be recycled at Dartmouth College using zero sort (all in one container)?
Aluminum and metal cans: Please empty before recycling.
Plastic containers: #1 through #7 as marked on the bottom. “To-Go” clamshells are recyclable if rinsed and clean. However, DDS plastic utensils are NOT recyclable.
Mixed Paper: White and colored paper, envelopes & opened mail, newspaper, soft-cover books & glossy paper, manila folders, magazines, catalogs, paper bags, phone books, brochures, flyers, index cards, gift cards, shredded paper, and “boxboard”, i.e., Kleenex, cereal & clean pizza boxes can be recycled.
Glass Bottles & Jars: All colors.

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Are there any items that can be recycled but still need to be sorted?
Yes, corrugated cardboard should be flattened and kept separate. Please bring it to the main recycling area in the building. 
For batteries, phones and electronics see FAQ below.

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How do I dispose of batteries?
Each building will have a battery bin for collecting spent batteries of all sizes located at the main recycling area.

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Can I recycle microwave food packaging that is now empty? What about soiled napkins or empty pizza boxes that have a few crumbs left inside? Do I have to rinse cans and bottles?
Items with lots of food residue should go in the trash, not the recycle (zero-sort) bin. However, a few crumbs in pizza boxes or on napkins are okay to recycle. The plastic “clam shell” take-out containers should be lightly rinsed or wiped. Bottles and cans should be empty; no need to rinse them out. Dartmouth recycles #1-7 plastic.

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What should I do if I no longer want to keep my mini-fridge?
Refrigerators are expensive to throw away since we must safely capture and dispose of the CFC refrigerant inside the unit. If the refrigerator is still working, please donate it to the Sustainable Move-Out Sale. You can Blitz SMS to arrange your donation. If the refrigerator no longer works, please write your name and room number on the refrigerator and give it to your building custodian and he or she will take care of it. Your student account will be billed the $12 disposal fee.

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What about materials like electronics and computers? How do these get recycled?
These items are referred to as Universal Waste, which is hazardous waste that contains mercury, lead, cadmium, and other substances harmful to human health. This includes batteries (each building has a battery recycling container), fluorescent light tubes, and electronic devices. Please drop off fluorescent light bulbs and electronic devices with your building custodian.

Electronic devices, like computers, monitors, keyboards, phones, and iPods, are recycled by Wincycle based in Windsor, VT. Dartmouth works with Northeast Lamp Recycling of East Windsor, CT, to recycle light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and batteries.

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Where does our recycled material go?
The Zero-Sort™ items (paper, cans, plastic, glass) go to Williston, VT or Charleston, MA.

Cardboard is picked up by Solvay Paperboard and recycled in Syracuse, NY.

Universal Waste is processed by Northeast Lamp Recycling of East Windsor, CT.

Computers and cell phones are recycled by Wincycle in Windsor, VT.

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How do Dartmouth students know that items are recycled?
For the Universal Waste, the College receives documentation from the vendor (the recycler) stating the product and manufacturer's information and weight. Universal Waste is monitored by state law through transportation manifests from Dartmouth to its reclamation destination. For the Zero-Sort™ recycling, Northeast Waste provides us with the weight of the material they haul away.

Last Updated: 9/23/10