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?
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.
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.
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!
Plastic Recycling FAQ
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Health System Recycling
For non-highly sensitive materials, Health System employees can request bins from UVA Recycling. UVA Recycling will work with the occupants and with fire officials to determine the best locations and prevent possible fire code and egress issues to help meet the need of the department. Confidential materials are collected in secure consoles (cabinets) or other containers which are locked. For more information, see PHI Recycling Guidelines.