Streamlining Single Stream

Author: Connor Kobeski

Verta Pack Article 2

Much of the greening that takes place at Notre Dame happens behind the scenes. “Students and faculty may not have noticed, but in the last year many of the large trash compactors have been converted to handle the increasing volume of single stream recycling while smaller dumpsters have been added to handle the trash,” explained Patrick O’Hara, Warehouse & Delivery Manager. “In addition, new recycling compactors have been installed at multiple sites on campus and even more are scheduled to be installed this spring.”

While single stream has made it easy for people on campus to recycle, the collection of all those recyclables has been challenging. Until recently, the housekeeping staff would bag the recyclables and leave them outside for Warehouse & Delivery Services to load on a truck and then off-load at the Warehouse & Delivery recycle center. The new process allows building staff to put their blue bags directly into compactors on-site for pick up by Waste Management trucks. The result is more efficiency, less transportation, and ultimately a higher campus recycling rate because the process is more user-friendly for building staff.

“The purchase of new single-stream compactors demonstrates the University’s commitment to taking action on waste reduction,” said O’Hara. “This progress has resulted from the leadership and direction of Amy Coughlin, Director of Administrative Services, as well as the collaborative efforts of building managers, rectors, the Office of Sustainability, and the Warehouse & Delivery recycling team.”

Eighteen of these trash-to-recycling conversions have been completed since last fall, including the West Quad dorms, Fischer Graduate Townhouses, the Morris Inn, the J.A.C.C. and the Soccer/Lacrosse fields. More recycling compactors are scheduled to be installed at some of the most heavily used buildings on campus, including North and South Dining Halls, LaFortune, and DeBartolo Hall.

Learn More About Waste Reduction at ND