The global recycling industry has been in flux for some time due to circumstances beyond the control of local authorities such as the introduction of stricter materials policies overseas and an ever-changing commodities market. These factors affect what is and/or what will be accepted in campus recycling bins, with changes occurring at JHU's campuses at different times during the course of the 2019-20 academic year.
Two major changes impacting JHU are:
- Glass will no longer accepted in recycling
- Only plastic jugs and bottles with recycling labels of No. 1 or 2 are accepted. Other plastics, including non-bottles with No. 1 and 2 labels and Nos. 3–6, should be placed in the incinerate bin.
The university takes its commitment to sustainability very seriously and realizes these changes may come as a surprise to some. While many of these factors are outside the control of Johns Hopkins, the university is working to identify ways of adapting to these changes and providing the programs and infrastructure necessary to reduce consumption and responsibly manage waste. The Office of Sustainability has created a FAQ to answer questions about why these changes are occurring. There is also a series of videos that explain what is currently acceptable.
The best way for individuals to contribute to a healthier local and global community is to stay informed and to reduce and reuse in their daily life. For more information about waste reduction and recovery at your particular division, visit the Office of Sustainability website.