What is Recycling?


Recycling is a three-step process. The first step is collection – that’s when you put your recyclables into the bin. The second step is manufacturing – when the recyclables are processed into raw materials that are manufactured into new products. The third step is buying recycling content products.

You have all seen the recycling symbol. The three arrows represent the three steps that complete the recycling loop.

Why should you recycle?

Recycling turns materials that otherwise would become waste into valuable resources. The recyclables you place in the bin or take to the drop-off center end up on the market as commodities that are bought and sold.

What do we recycle?

At the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the following items are currently collected to be recycled:

  1. Aluminum Cans
  2. Paper
  3. Phonebooks

Please put the above items in designated recycling bins and not the trash.

Paper that is acceptable to Recycle

  • White Paper
  • Colored Paper
  • Post-it Notes
  • Plain Bond Paper
  • Business Cards
  • Fax Paper
  • NCR Forms
  • Business Forms (Non-carbon)
  • Computer Paper (Green & Blue Bar)
  • Envelopes (Window & non-window)
  • Stationary
  • Letterhead
  • File Folders
  • Brochures

Paper that is not acceptable to Recycle

  • Labels
  • Carbon Paper
  • Tablet Bindings
  • Spiral Bound
  • Metal Objects
  • Tissue
  • Newspaper
  • Phonebooks
  • General Trash
  • Food Wrappings
  • Film / Photographs
  • Styrofoam Cups
  • 3 Ring Binders
  • Paper Towels
  • Magazines
  • Shredded Confidential Paper

Recycle Bin Locations

  • Hyman
  • Wittenborg
  • Mooney
  • Crowe
  • Nash
  • Nash Addition
  • Johnson
  • Dunn
  • Feurt
  • Coleman
  • Cancer Research Building
  • Molecular Science Building
  • Student Alumni Center
  • Boling Center
  • General Education Building
  • Pauline / Doctor’s Office Building
  • Lamar Alexander Building
  • Link
  • Physical Plant
  • 910 Madison
  • 920 Madison
  • 930 Madison

Phonebook Recycling

Phonebook recycling is when the campus will collect phonebooks to be recycled separate from normal paper recycling. Phonebook recycling will occur twice a year: once in December and once in May.

Campus Clean-Up Day

Campus clean-up day will be days designated throughout the year to encourage office clean-up and recycling.

Recycling Facts

The average person generated 2.7 pounds of waste each day in 1960. In 2000, the rate was 4.5 pounds-per-person-per-day. ---EPA Web Site

99 percent of all beer cans and 97 percent of all soda cans are made of aluminum. ---EPA Web Site

Paper and paperboard constituted the largest portion of the United States municipal solid waste stream in 1994, representing 38.9 percent of the total waste by weight. ---EPA Web Site

Manufacturing a can from recycled aluminum requires only 5 percent as much energy as making the same can from virgin ore. ---EPA Web Site

Recycling one tons of aluminum saves 37 barrels of oil. ---"Outline of Talking Points for NRDC Leadership Briefing." White House Council on Environmental Quality. May 19-21, 1998. Pg. 2.

Recycling paper uses 60 percent less energy than manufacturing paper from virgin timber. ---EPA Web Site

The lifespan of a can is six weeks on average. This includes the time it takes for a beverage can to be manufactured, filled, sold, recycled, and remanufactured. ---EPA Web Site

Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change by decreasing the energy needed to make products from virgin materials, reducing emissions from incinerators and landfills, and slowing the harvest of trees, thereby maintaining carbon dioxide storage provided by the forests. ---"Puzzled About Recycling's Value? Look Beyond the Bin." Environmental Protection Agency. January, 1998. Pg. 8-9.

Nine jobs are created for every 15,000 tons recycled vs. one job for every 15,000 tons landfilled. ---"Outline of Talking Points for NRDC Leadership Briefing. White House Council on Environmental Quality. May 19-21, 1998. Pg. 2.

Did you know?

In one year, the average American:

  • Uses 100 pounds of plastic
  • Uses 37,000 gallons of water
  • Uses 800 gallons of gas
  • Produces 3,285 pounds of hazardous waste

 Together, Americans discard:

  • 30 billion foam cups
  • 1.6 million pens
  • 2 billion plastic razors and blades
  • 220 million tires
  • 1.8 billion disposable diapers

 ---MD Attorney General Consumer Paper

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