Trash Talk: Universities Recycle Tons of Garbage

The average American generates more than 4 pounds of trash every day.

The average American generates more than 4 pounds of trash every day.

TTUHSC recently helped Texas Tech collect and recycle 8.5 tons of plastic, aluminum, glass and cardboard during the national collegiate RecycleMania contest, beating out other institutions including the University of Texas.

RecycleMania promotes waste reduction activities throughout campus communities.

Over an eight-week period each spring, more than 600 colleges across the U.S. and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are ranked in various categories based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling.

Over two months the Texas Tech/TTUHSC team collected 228,125 pounds of recyclables; kept 114 tons of diverted waste from the landfill, and bettered last year's number by 27 percent. In addition, money raised from the recycling will provide scholarships for a small group of students.

“I would love to see TTUHSC start a large scale recycling program at all campuses” said Allison Kerin, M.S., R.D., L.D., director of Employee Wellness and Recognition. “We have quite the opportunity at TTUHSC to be more environmentally conscious. We plan on adding a section on our WOW! website that focuses on recycling and what our employees can do to start recycling at work and at home. If anyone would like to start recycling paper in their office, they can contact me for a box that will fit nicely under most desks.”

Kerin said TTUHSC students and employees can do their part by collecting glass, all plastics (No. 1-7 plastic bags), aluminum, cardboard, newspapers and non-confidential paper (no cardstock, colored paper or envelopes) in your respective office. You may also bring your plastics and aluminum from home and place them in the large white bins located near the freight elevators on the south side of TTUHSC’s elevator banks. Call Housekeeping at 743-2060 to pick up your paper and cardboard to recycle.

“I actually bring all my plastics up here to TTUHSC,” Kerin said. “I drive down to the dock and unload all my cardboard from home into the compactor. I then take the rest of my recyclables (tin, newspapers, magazines, glass and paper) to the Texas Tech bins. The only thing you have to separate is the paper from the rest.”

For more information about how you can start recycling at home and at work, contact Kerin at

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