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Recycling moves to single bin collection

Paper, glass, aluminum and plastics can now be placed in the same recycling bins around the Elon University campus.

Elon University has switched to single-stream recycling where all typical recyclables - mixed paper, plastics, glass and aluminum cans - can be placed in the same recycling bin. Paper no longer has to be separated from other recyclable items.

All bins or bin labels on campus are now color-coded: blue bins are for recyclables, orange is for compostables and black is for landfill items.

“Hopefully, this change will result in people placing recyclable items in a recycling bin rather than a trash can,” said Jessica Bilecki, education and outreach coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. Not having to sort recyclables makes recycling easier, more convenient, and typically results in a greater number of items being collected, she said. 

Recycling items also prevents them from going to a landfill and helps reduce Elon’s carbon emissions.

Throughout the month of January, Physical Plant staff relabeled and replaced bins to implement the change. Noticeable changes include:

  • Hallways and common areas: There is now one blue-lidded bin to collect all recyclables.
  • Residence hall trash/recycling rooms: One bin for all recyclables. There is no need to place paper in a separate bin. 
  • Outdoor bins: Paper can now be placed in outdoor recycling containers, which used to only be for glass, plastic and aluminum.
  • Deskside recycling bins in offices: Plastics, metal and glass can be placed in the blue bins in addition to mixed paper.

Cardboard should still be broken down and placed next to recycling bins. Small electronics and ink cartridges should still be disposed of in the appropriate bins in Moseley, Koury Business Center, Belk Library and the School of Law Library.

Items do not need to be washed before being recycled. However, beverage or food containers should be emptied as much as possible before placing the item in a recycling bin. This helps ensure all items, particularly paper, will remain viable for recycling.

Eric Townsend,
2/2/2016 9:30 AM