Wicked waste: You can recycle that?

October is Campus Sustainability Month, when members of the JHU community are encouraged to examine and reduce their waste at home and at work. Events, celebrations, and important sustainability initiatives are taking place across the university. The Office of Sustainability is here to guide you with some helpful tips.

Recycling has come a long way. Bins are everywhere on our campuses, and 44 percent of all waste from JHU is either composted or recycled. BUT, did you know that there are a ton of items that are recyclable but not in a traditional recycling bin? The TerraCycle Recycling Program accepts such items as batteries, jeans, pens, markers, Cliff bar wrappers, mascara tubes, floss containers, toothpaste, Styrofoam, film plastic, corks, shoes, and the list goes on. If we capture and recycle this waste, we prevent it from being burned in the incinerator. Even better, it can often be upcycled into functional products.

This week free TerraCycle bins, along with signs, can be picked up from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Homewood Recycling Office, Wyman Park Building, suite 3. As a courtesy, please email Leana Houser, lhouser@jhu.edu, at Homewood Recycling to arrange a time. Once you have your bin set up, it's easy for you to collect these items from your colleagues. When your bin is full, simply request a pickup by Homewood Recycling. Waste Less, B'More.

The process for reducing waste varies by campus. For details by campus, see the Campuses and Contacts page of the Sustainability website. Baltimore City offers Citizen Drop-off locations for things like Styrofoam and film plastic. Mom's Organic Market now offers recycling for everything from denim to light bulbs to corks.

See the Sustainability Office website and Facebook page for full event details.