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EHSRM Teams up with Housing to Reduce Move-In Waste

EHSRM partnered with Housing and Residence Life during student move-in, August 17 – 20. They set up cardboard-collection stations around all housing units, including Chisolm Hall and University Oaks. Collection and recycling of cardboard helped reduce the volume of trash that is generated during the move-in.   

RecyclingIn past years, 4-5 tons of cardboard was generated during move-in. “Recently families have been carting personal belongings in plastic, reusable containers, which they take back home,” said Richard Garza, Environmental & Construction Safety Manager. “This year we expect to collect a few tons.”

All cardboard is recycled and baled on West Campus, from which EHSRM will transport it to a local recycling plant and sell it at market value.

Cardboard recycling is available year round at housing units. Residents can recycle by placing broken-down boxes next to the blue recycling bins outside. Remember to put all your recyclable waste into the blue containers, separate from the trash containers. Learn more at Recycling@UTSA

August 31 UPDATE

At this year’s move-in, EHSRM collected 7.45 tons of cardboard, which far exceeds last year's 4 tons.

Recycling seven tons of cardboard:
Saves 2,730 kWh of energy
Saves 7.7 barrels (354 gallons) of oilRecyclers
Saves 46.2 million Btu's of energy

A big contributor to this success was the cooperation of University Oaks and HRL staff, who guided new residents and family members to the appropriate waste containers. The staff noticed that this year more household items came in new boxes. Last year many families used collapsible plastic boxes and took them back with them. Many HRL residents brought to UTSA packages delivered by Amazon. After emptying them, they flattened and placed the boxes into the recycling stations.

All of this cardboard was baled to approximately 1,190 pound per bale for a total of 13 bales. EHSRM delivered them directly to a local recycling plant that ships them off to another country for recycling.  It is up to that country to use the recycled cardboard for whatever products they wish. 

UTSA currently collects and bales 5 to 6 bales in a typical week. EHSRM has processed an average of 148 tons of recyclable material per quarter, which includes cardboard, mixed paper, commingle material, and scrap metal at UTSA. Student workers and Facilities housekeeping and maintenance personnel work hard to make this happen. These numbers are consistently high because the UTSA campus community is dedicated to the recycling program. Faculty, staff and students are the major contributors to the success by properly utilizing the appropriate containers and actively supporting recycling at UTSA.


Updated 8-31-2018