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ReTHINK your waste

“Recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. Collecting used bottles, cans, and newspapers and taking them to the curb or to a collection facility is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally.” (US Environmental Protection Agency)

Tips for reducing your waste on campus:

  • Use the appropriate recycling bins
  • Think before you photocopy and print documents.  Do you really need it?
  • When printing, make margins narrow, decrease font size, and print or copy on both sides by printing odd pages first then all even pages.
  • Take or prepare only as much food as you plan to eat at the moment or later.
  • Use your CUPPS mug at Johnny’s and the Fish House (and get discounted drinks!)
  • Carry a Nalgene or reuse your current water bottle.
  • Bring your own reusable container for leftovers when you go out to eat.
  • Avoid using paper plates and napkins and plastic silverware.
  • Use cloth grocery bags and keep some in your car. Pick one up at the Campus Store for only 50¢ or at Meijer for $1.
  • Go to to find out where to donate used items locally.

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General Facts:

  • In 2007, Americans generated about 254 million tons of trash, recycling and composting 85 million tons of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and saved 1.3 quadrillion Btu of energy, the equivalent of more than 10.7 billion gallons of gasoline. 
  • Recycling just 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves the equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gas.
  • The average American generates 4.6 pounds of trash daily, or 1,679 pounds annually!

(Municipal Solid Waste Generation, Recycling, and Disposal in the United States: Facts and Figures for 2007)