Recycling

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panorama of a green workplace in facilities management
Sustainability is about finding “win-win-win” solutions that are good for the planet, people, and the bottom line. As the coronavirus pandemic has swept through and challenged the typical modes of operation for our University, extra emphasis has been placed on keeping people safe and reducing costs. Fortunately, many environmentally green solutions can also save some “green” and help us be good stewards of UVA’s resources during this tough time.
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A student donating gently used items to a Goodwill donation box on Grounds for Hoos ReUse.
UVA’s Hoos ReUse program provides students an opportunity to donate gently-used or unwanted items to various community organizations in hopes of minimizing the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Hoos Reuse will still take place this year but will look differently given the ongoing COVID-19 situation. While waste minimization is certainly important, the health and safety of our community takes top priority during this year’s campaign. If you choose to donate, please be sure to practice social distancing and review best practices listed by the Center for Disease Control.
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Photo of a blue and black recycling container that reads " Plastic, Metal, Glass, Recycle"
February 3, 2020
If you’ve ever recycled a peanut butter jar, you probably have had the same thought as me: by the time I have scrubbed it clean, rid the jar of all the oil, and diligently sorted it into its paper grocery bag to recycle, is this jar even going to make a difference? Where will it even go?
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OFS Student Employee, Yuki, manages a zero waste station at a UVA farmers market.
Special events are an important part of the UVA experience. From football games to Lighting of the Lawn to Puppies & Pumpkins, there are always special events happening across Grounds. To help reduce the waste sent to the landfill, UVA has encouraged special events to go zero waste or include compost collection when possible.

A Zero Waste Event (ZWE) is an event in which 90% of the produced waste can be diverted from the landfill. This means that the vast majority of waste is either composted or recycled. Out of 243 special events at UVA, an incredible 157 events either achieved zero waste or collected compost, demonstrating departments and student groups alike are making the switch to zero waste events. To make the switch easy, the Office for Sustainability (OFS) recently released an updated version of the Zero Waste Guide to walk event planners through the process.
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Hosting a zero waste event (ZWE) means that at least 90% of waste generated will go to a compost facility or recycling facility - review this guide or call the Office for Sustainability (434-297-7964) to learn about various landfill minimization practices.

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The ROSE Program (Reusable Office Supply Exchange) collects gently or never used office supplies from departments throughout UVA and makes these materials available to the community. Stop by the Recycling warehouse to drop off or take whatever supplies you like!

Students shopping at the free Reusable Office Supply Exchange store in the Recycling building

Plastic Recycling FAQ

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Students working together at the School of Architecture

The Office for Sustainability hosts sustainability programs and services that help address UVA’s environmental footprint through buildings & operations as well as pan-university sustainability engagement and communications programs to accelerate sustainability awareness and action. To learn more about a specific program or service, please email sustainability@virginia.edu

Lab Recycling

Worried about safely recycling lab plastics? If an item can go safely in the regular trash can, it is also safe for recycling. No containers for acids, bases, toxins, biohazardous or radioactive materials are safe to recycle. Call UVA Environmental Health and Safety to process these containers. Some nitrile gloves can also be recycled. Email recycling@virginia.edu for more information.