The University understands the amount of waste produced each year. In response, UT has implemented several ways to promote recycling and promote sustainable lifestyles.
For more information about how waste is handled on campus, visit UT Recycling’s official website.
UT students, faculty, and staff can bring their own mug of twenty-four ounces or less and receive ninety-nine-cent drip coffee and fountain beverages, a savings of forty cents or more. The program also offers 15 percent off specialty coffee beverages. More than 90 percent of Volunteer Dining locations are participating, including Starbucks, Einstein’s, Quiznos, and Subway.[/su_spoiler]
Most finished compost will be taken to the UT Organic Farm off of Alcoa Highway. The compost will be used as a soil amendment to fertilize their crops, which hopefully one day will make it to your plate at a UT Dining location. Some compost may be used for erosion control on campus. Some may be used to mix with fill dirt to create better topsoil. Some of it may even be used at the Anthropological Research Facility (the “Body Farm”).
UT Athletics is working in partnership with UT Recycling, Aramark and Good Sports Always Recycle to turn Neyland Stadium into a Zero Waste facility by fall semester, 2015. Last season, UT Recycling diverted 146,512 pounds of recyclables and compost from the landfill, a small percentage of the waste produced through the season.
Athletes of all levels are invited to compete in Olympics-inspired, zero-waste games. Winners receive prizes and have the opportunity to set national records on RecordSetter.com.
Items To Recycle
Throwing away a single can is like pouring out six ounces of gasoline. Creating a can from recycled aluminum uses 95 percent less energy than creating one from virgin materials. An aluminum can has no limit to how many times it can be recycled, and the average life cycle of a can is under sixty days.
Creating new plastics accounts for 7 percent of worldwide usage of fossil fuels. The purpose of plastic containers is to be chemically inert to the material it contains, which makes them virtually unbiodegradable. Thus, plastics continue to pollute surface waters and break into smaller and smaller pieces. They eventually end up in the oceans, where large eddy currents collect and concentrate the debris, affecting sea life.
About 90 percent of all products shipped worldwide are shipped in cardboard containers. As is it a paper product and there are a limited number of trees, recycling cardboard is not only lucrative but essential to maintaining an environmental equilibrium. Recycling cardboard saves 50 percent of greenhouse emissions compared with new cardboard.
Organic materials in landfills break down under anaerobic conditions (no oxygen). In the absence of oxygen, bacteria will produce methane gas more readily. Methane is a greenhouse gas with 20 times more greenhouse potential than carbon dioxide. Also, organic materials take up valuable space in landfills. At UT we compost green wastes and food wastes to create a nutrient-rich soil additive.
Most people call them “tin cans,” but the containers your green beans come in are mostly made of steel. Recycling steel cans saves 74 percent of the energy used to produce them. A steel mill that uses recycled scrap reduces related water pollution, air pollution, and mining wastes by about 70 percent.
Electronic waste is a rapidly growing constituent of the waste stream. It contains many valuable recoverable metals and toxic and hazardous materials.