Vanderbilt campus expands plastics recycling

Just in time for a strong finish in RecycleMania, the Vanderbilt campus recycling program is expanding plastics recycling to include all plastic containers.

Previous recycling vendor restrictions only allowed for the recycling of plastic bottles with resin codes 1 and 2 on Vanderbilt’s main academic campus and student areas. The campus recycling program could not recycle plastics with resin codes 3-7. Vanderbilt’s new partnership with Waste Management Inc. now allows for the collection of all plastics, regardless of type.

What plastics can be recycled under the new system? 

  • YES: Plastic containers, cups, bottles, bottle tops and lids (please rinse).
  • NO: Food or liquids, styrofoam, plastic bags or film, plastic strapping, motor oil  or hazardous chemical containers.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States recycled only 12 percent of all plastic containers and packaging in 2010. With expanded plastics recycling on campus, Vanderbilt can do even more to contribute to increased recycling rates and diminish our impact on the local landfill.

This improvement to the campus recycling program brings it in line with the Vanderbilt University Medical Center recycling program, which has accepted all plastics for several years. Signs throughout campus are still being updated, but feel free to recycle any plastic containers in any plastics recycling bin regardless of signage.

Recyclemania is a friendly national recycling competition among colleges and universities sponsored by the College and University Recycling Coalition, the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Keep America Beautiful. The 2012 competition continues through March 31.

For more information about recycling at Vanderbilt, visit SustainVU, contact or call (615) 343-2784 (dial E-ARTH on campus).

Contact: Lindsay Walker, (615) 343-2784