BUMC Recycling

Why Recycling?

“Recycling is generally one of the first campus sustainability programs that an institution undertakes, and it often provides an important foundation for further campus sustainability efforts.”

– AASHE, Stars ver 0.5 pg 44 (.PDF)

Goals of the Program

The goal of the pilot recycling program is to both reduce the amount of waste BUMC has to pay to haul, and to increase the number of re-usable products we are both sending to be reprocessed, and are purchasing to use.  The three major goals of the program are:

  • Reduce amount of solid waste BUMC sends to landfills/incinerates*
  • Reduce cost for solid waste shipping
  • Create an environment on BUMC of reducing our consumption of materials, where possible, and reusing what we can.

*AASHE recommends new programs aim to divert 10-15% of solid waste from landfills

How the Program Works

The pilot recycling program is fairly basic.  Here is the graphical representation of how the program works:


  • Schedule Walkthrough: the pilot recycling program requires our staff to put their recyclable waste into a large recycling tote (link for photo) that Facilities Management can empty on a regular basis.  Ideally, each floor of our BUMC facilities will have at least one tote available.  The first component of the program is for one of our SDLs to schedule a walk-through with Facilities Management to find a convenient location for the recycling tote that is also not a fire hazard.
  • Get recycing tote: once a location is determined, Facilities Management will deliver the tote.
  • Education: now it’s up to the SDL to education his or her co-workers about just what can and cannot be recycled in the tote.  For a full list, click on the Social Marketing Materials to get a list of posters and decals you can use to education your officemates.  The Sustainability Committee recommends putting these posters in visible locations either on the walls near the recycling tote’s location, and/or on office bulletin boards and shared space.
  • Recycle: once the educational component is moving, the biggest step is to actually recycle!
  • Monitor tote: While Facilities Management’s new policies should ensure that each tote is emptied on a regular basis (when it’s at least 75% full or more), there may be situations where either the tote fills too quickly or in too much of a hurry for a janitor to notice it on his or her nightly rounds.  If your tote fills up before a janitorial staff member can pick it up, call Control at 8-4144 to dispatch someone specifically to pick it up.  Likewise, if your office’s or floor’s tote has been picked up to be emptied, but it hasn’t come back to you yet, please call Control or Facilities Management to get a new bin.
  • Feedback: knowing whether the program is working is crucial to our success.  The Sustainability Committee wants to know what’s working, what’s not working, and what other things we need to be mindful of in this pilot.  Let us know how it’s working in your building, and if we can alter the program slightly to make it more effective for your space.

For more information about the Pilot Recycling Program, read our FAQs about the program.

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October 27, 2008
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine