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by Savannah Christiansen

Welcome (back) to the hill Jumbos! September is already upon us and the move-in process has begun, with thousands of pounds of stuff being transported all over campus. You may be wondering amidst the chaos that is orientation, how do I dispose of all that junk I brought with me I really didn’t need? If you’re an eco-nerd like us you may be asking yourself how to get settled in more sustainably. However, there is no need to fret, Tufts Recycles! is here to ease your transition back into school life with our Recycling Orientation Guide:

Dorm Recycling: Hey freshman, this means you! Step one in reducing your waste on Tufts campus is by utilizing the personal recycling bins that will be provided in each dorm starting in September. Each room will be given a small blue bin for all your recyclables which can then be emptied into the central waste stations in the hallway like these:


Not sure how to separate everything at the central waste stations? No worries! Each bin is labeled with the specific items that can be sorted into each one. In short, however, each bin can hold the following:

Blue= Paper (non-waxy, clean paper–this includes clean coffee cups!)

Green= Glass, Metal, and Plastics (coffee lids go here as well)

Trash= Trash (but do we really need this one?)

The system is simple enough, but now you may be asking yourself what you can do with all the extra food waste you might produce. Isn’t there a way we can save all that organic material without sending it to the landfill?

Compost: Here it is: the most organic and easiest way to decrease food waste on campus is compost! Composting is a method of reducing food waste by letting organic material, such as leftover peels, cores, egg shells etc. decay over time. Eventually the decaying material releases enough nutrients to turn back into healthy soil which can then be used to grow more plants and food. It’s as close to a closed waste loop as you can get, so utilizing this resource is extremely valuable to our sustainability program in our total waste reduction. All food and organic waste can be brought to to the small, green compost bins in each dorm, which are usually located in the kitchen. You can also dump all that extra organic waste in the bright, yellow toter bins found throughout campus. Don’t know where to find one? Check out the 2015 Eco-Map from the Tufts Office of Sustainability here. If you have any more questions about compost, be sure to ask your local sustainability expert, your Eco-Rep! Eco-Reps work with the Tufts Office of Sustainability to promote sustainable behaviors in the dorms, a list of whom can be found here.

Freecycle: While the moving in process can be tiring and tedious, you may find that there is lots you will no longer need once everything is moved in. Maybe you brought one too many T-Shirts, hangers, lamps, books etc. Don’t let those things go to waste! You can find freecycle closets in South, Haskell, Hodgdon and Wren Halls to recycle these usable items for others to use. Once those items are put in freecycle, its up for grabs by everyone in the dorm.

The Green Bean Machine: Ok, we are really excited about this one. This year the GreenBean machine will be up and running in the campus center. The GreenBean machine is our very own high-tech cans, water bottle and glass recycling machine that instantly lets you know how much of your waste reduction efforts kept materials out of landfills. This reverse vending machine also lets you know how much energy you saved and gives you a 5 cent refund for each container recycled. Be sure to check out this recycling wonder in the campus center next to Hotung and find out more about the company’s initiatives here.

Tennis Balls: Tufts Recycles! is proud to announce that we have officially sent off our first round of tennis balls to recycled- 203 in all! Throughout the summer, we’ve been collecting tennis balls next to the courts at Fletcher Field in designated bins. So anytime you’re out on the tennis courts, or happen to have some old tennis balls lying around that you don’t need anymore, be sure to deposit them in these bins:


RecycleMania: Last but not least, RecycleMania will be taking place in the spring and it’s the biggest recycling competition on campus. In other words, you can practice all of your recycling skills now and by the time spring rolls around you can be geared up and ready for competition. More information on the competition can be found here.

Any more questions? You can always contact Tufts Recycles through our brand new website, you can find the homepage here.