Cleveland State University has decreased the amount of waste sent to landfill and increased the quantity of materials captured for recycling and composting. In 2018, trash volumes decreased by 22.26 tons, and materials diverted by either recycling or composting increased by 19.80 tons.
A number of initiatives across campus have contributed to the reduction in landfill waste. The Wolstein Arena placed 20 recycling bins in the concourse area. New outdoor recycling stations were distributed to 11 high traffic areas across campus. In addition, new labels on bins across campus clearly indicate which materials can be placed in recycling bins.
The Fenn Tower dorm has seen a significant decrease in waste generated after recycling bins were placed on every floor. The response from students was so positive that regular trash pick-ups in Fenn Tower were cut in half.
Cleveland State’s composting program has also played a significant role in reducing waste. Food waste is composted in the Student Center, Wolstein Arena and Elements Bistro. All disposable tableware used in catering was replaced with 100 percent plant-based compostable dining ware. All landscaping waste is composted off-site. In 2018 alone, 67 tons of food and landscaping waste was composted.
Students, faculty and staff currently have access to recycling bins for mixed paper, plastic and cans, cardboard and batteries. Recycling bins for plastic and cans have green lids. Any recyclable plastic bottle, jug or container can be placed in this bin along with metal cans.
Recycling bins for paper are blue. Clean mixed papers can be put in these bins, including copy paper and its packaging, newspapers, magazines, envelopes, junk mail, greeting cards, paperboard boxes (cereal, crackers, etc.) and phone books. Cardboard can be left by trash or recycling bins and will be collected by custodial staff for recycling. Flattening the cardboard is appreciated.
Other waste streams collected on campus include Styrofoam, shrink wrap, steel, tires, yard waste, computers and electronics, ink cartridges, lead-acid batteries, motor oil, fluorescent bulbs and office furniture.