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by M.T. Snyder

Welcome all new and returning students! As summer turns into fall, Tufts’ campus becomes more picturesque each day with vibrant leaves in the trees, clear blue skies above our heads, and yellow compost bins on the curb. You may remember some of Tufts Recycles initiatives (Recyclemania, anyone?), but let’s sweep the cobwebs out of those corners with a quick refresher about what you can do on campus to reduce waste.

As mentioned above, just keep your eyes peeled for those big yellow bins that are just waiting for you to pop in your apple core or food remains.  If you’re on-campus, you will probably find a compost bin in the kitchen, but if you’re off-campus fill out a request form and an intern will drop one off. Composting is a strong part of Tufts waste reduction program, and the Medford campus alone composts a little over one ton of food waste each day, according to Tufts Dining Services. Get involved in composting because you’re giving mother nature a hand in her version of recycling and you can’t get better karma than that.

Sometimes you don’t bring enough notebooks to campus, but sometimes (okay most of the time) you bring way too many hangers, binders, trashcans, fans, and clothes. What are you going to do then? Well my friends, the answer is simple enough. Freecycle it! There are Freecycle closets in Haskell, South, Hodgdon, and Wren where you can give and take items with ease. No need to fill up your personal trashcan with usable items – just put it in the communal closet and you’ll definitely make someone else’s day (a Tufts Recycles intern’s day to be specific).

Finally, here’s the nitty-gritty details about recycling:

  • Green = bottles, glass, hard metals, plastic lids (feel free to lift the lid)
  • Blue = paper (you know this one)
  • Yellow = compost (all those slippery banana peels and other organics)
  • Grey* = trash (don’t need that though, right?)

So now you have it all. Compost, freecycle, recycle – get your groove on and get sustainable this year!

*Although sometimes you may see a brown trashcan, we’re phasing those out for all grey ones.