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Desk-Side FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is USU piloting this desk-side recycling program?
Utah State University currently recycles approximately 25% of its waste. However, many recyclable items end up in the trash everyday. Over half of the waste generated at desks in the Education Building is recyclable, but currently much of the recyclable material is going in the trash. A waste audit revealed 20-40% of the contents in the desk-side trash bins is still recyclable but going to the landfill. In order to reduce waste, the USU Sustainability Council is piloting desk-side recycling to see if building occupants enjoy the convenience of desk-side recycle service and recycle more.

Do other universities have desk-side recycling?
Yes, many universities have chosen to implement a desk-side recycling system in order to divert more waste from the landfill, including
University of Washington, University of Colorado, Yale University, Mississippi State University, and University of Pennsylvania Wharton
School. The goal is to increase the diversion rate at Utah State in line with its peer institutions as well as the bar set by institutions of higher
education nationwide.

What goes in my desk-side recycling container?

  - Paper (clean white and colored paper, junk mail, newspapers, post-its)
  - Paperboard/Cardboard
  - Metal cans
  - Glass
  - Plastics 1-7 (empty drink bottles, yogurt cups, clam shell containers,  
    some drink lids)
  - Toner cartridges in a bag.

Click here for a list of all recyclable items at USU.

Why can't Facilities Maintenance take out my trash and recycling?
The Facilities Maintenance staff strives to provide the best service possible to each building. However, time is limited, and while emptying
one extra bin is not a significant commitment, multiplied by every office in the building it can take hours, which would prevent Facilities
Maintenance from providing other services.

Do you provide plastic liners for the hanging black trash containers? 
Small plastic liners are available in central locations within the Education Building. In order to reduce the amount of waste going to the
landfill and the cost of purchasing liners, occupants are encouraged to minimize use of liners in the hanging trash containers attached to
the recycling bins.  

Central bins have liners and are emptied on a daily basis, so you may choose to place food items, such as apple cores, banana peels, or
other items in the central bins, which are located in the office complex or public area.

The covers will help prevent odors until you empty the bin at a central location. The small black bins are also easily rinsed at the discretion
of the user. If you choose to line your bin with your own liner, small plastic bags from home, including grocery and other retail bags, seem
to work well.

I find the covers on the mini-trash bins inconvenient. Can I take it off?
The covers are intended to prevent odors until you empty the bin at a central location. However, the lids are removable, and you may
choose to remove the lid for your convenience. Please do not dispose of the lid.

How do I get a desk-side trash bin?
Please fill out the bin request online. Facilities Maintenance will not service desk-side trash bins in the Education Building.

Can I label my desk-side recycling bin?
Click here to learn to label your bin.

How can I get involved in other ways to make my office space and operations more environmentally-friendly?
The Sustainability Council is made up of faculty, staff, and students. We appreciate and depend on the work of individuals around campus
to support sustainability. Easy changes like turning off computers and monitors at night, discontinuing mini-fridge use, and recycling make
a big difference. You can also be a resource for your colleagues or direct them to this website. If you're interested in doing more, join a
Sustainability Council work group.

My question isn't answered here. Who do I contact?
Please contact us through the web page- https://sustainability.usu.edu/contact.