Sustainability FAQs

Why is Georgia College introducing a campus-wide recycling program?
As an institution that values Reason, Respect and Responsibility, Georgia College strives to be good stewards of our environmental resources. In application, this translates into increasing recycling and reducing waste production. A 2012 audit determined that more than 66 percent of what we throw away is recyclable material. We want to make it easier to recycle what is the bulk of what we throw away so as to redirect this material from the landfill where it currently goes. In addition, this recycling plan allows us to be both environmentally and fiscally responsible.

Who was involved in the development of this recycling plan?
This plan was developed and endorsed by a committee comprised of faculty, staff and students who represent the Sustainability Council, the Sustainability Office, Facilities Operations, University Housing and the Sustainability Fee Program.

Who do I contact if I have a question?
You can email recycle@gcsu.edu or contact Chief Sustainability Officer, Lori Strawder, at 478-445-7016 with any questions or comments.

Why is a recycling bin better than a trash can?
It reflects our values.  In addition, trash cans need to be serviced once a day to prevent unpleasant odor and deter pests. Recycling bins only need to be serviced weekly because it is dry materials such as paper, cardboard or plastic.  Because 66 percent of what we throw away is recyclable, we are going to swap recycling bins for trash cans.

Where do I take my non-recyclable items?
Trash (food waste, anything that is wet or items that may attract pests) should be taken to a common area trash can. These areas will be located in restrooms, kitchenettes and breakrooms. Your custodian will be able to direct you to your nearest trash can. 

What if my office area needs more trash cans or recycling bins?
No problem. Simply email your request to recycle@gcsu.edu and we will be in touch.

Where should I take bulk recycling?
Recycling containers/stations are, typically, located on every floor in each academic and administrative building. If you have a large amount of recycling, items can be disposed of in these areas. You can also contact recycle@gcsu.edu for assistance with bulk recycling.

How often are common-area trash cans emptied?
Custodians will service all common area trash cans daily. If you are noticing an issue, such as pests, or expect large crowds that will generate significant amounts of waste, you may contact your custodian directly or email recycle@gcsu.edu. Of course, these areas will be serviced often enough to meet the need.

Who do I contact if my recycling center or common area trash can needs attention?
You can either contact your custodian or email recycle@gcsu.edu.

How often are recycling bins emptied?
A recycling bin under your desk will be emptied weekly. If it becomes full prior to your custodian’s weekly visit, please take your bin to the recycling container/station in your building and empty it there.

Do I need to separate recyclable materials?
No. Georgia College uses single stream recycling. All recycling is co-mingled until it is taken off campus for processing by our waste disposal vendor.

What materials are recyclable?

  • Copy paper
  • Newsprint
  • Brown paper bags
  • Magazines
  • Catalogs/telephone/soft cover books
  • Mail/envelopes
  • Paper/paperboard (cereal/tissue boxes)
  • Cardboard
  • Plastics #1 and #2 (water bottles, soft drink bottles, milk jugs, bleach/detergent/shampoo bottles)
  • Metal cans (tin/steel/aluminum)

How do I participate in recycling?
If you live on campus, you can collect your recyclable materials in your room/apartment using any type of bin you choose. At your convenience, take your recycling to the same location you take your trash where the standard blue recycling bins are located.

 If you live off campus, be sure to take advantage of recycling bins in hallways, common areas and classrooms.  

Will there be a trash can or recycling bin in classrooms?
Recycling bins will be provided in classrooms. Trash cans will be provided in centralized locations in each academic area.

Do I need to bag my recycled materials before taking them to the designated recycling area?
No, you do not need to bag; however, please ensure all recyclable items make it into the appropriate container and the lid is closed. 

What happens to all the old trash cans? Can I keep mine?
This plan will result in a need for additional trash bins in common areas – many trash bins will be re-purposed to these locations. Unusable bins will be discarded and usable bins will be sent through the surplus process. The university cannot provide a bin for a service we do not provide. For this reason, we ask staff and faculty to not keep their trash bins.

May I bring my own trash bin?
Yes, an employee may choose to bring their own bin to use under their desk. The employee will be responsible for emptying this bin into a common area trash bin in a regular manner to avoid smells and pest problems. Another alternative is to keep a few plastic grocery sacks at your desk.  However we encourage faculty and staff to get in the habit of using recycling in the office and putting waste in the centralized locations.

Where does our recycling go?
All recyclables and trash are collected from campus buildings and dispersed to the Central Campus Recycling Center managed by Advanced Disposal Services in Milledgeville, GA.  For more details about this process, please contact recycle@gcsu.edu or Chief Sustainability Officer, Lori Strawder, at 478-445-7016.

Who enforces the new recycling program?
As with all other university policies, supervisors will work with employees to ensure the recycling policy is in place in all areas of campus.

How is this new? Haven’t we had recycling on our campus for a while?
While we have had recycling efforts on our campus before, previous plans were dependent on volunteers to collect recyclables and transport the materials to appropriate recycling centers. These volunteers could only provide limited coverage. For a recycling program to be sustainable and permanent, full-time human resources must be dedicated to it. This new plan represents our first campus-wide recycling initiative that is sustainable and financially feasible.

How will mobility issues and other special circumstances be accommodated?
If you have a special situation that will impact your ability to participate in the recycling program, please contact your supervisor. If a reasonable adjustment cannot be identified, please contact us at recycle@gcsu.edu.

Has this approach to recycling been implemented with success on other university campuses?
Yes. Clemson is a great example of this type of program operating successfully. In developing our recycling plan, considerable research was gathered and Georgia College has utilized what is considered to be best practices from across the nation in the implementation of our plan.

Who do I contact if I have a question?
You can email recycle@gcsu.edu with any questions or comments.

What are some other things Georgia College is doing to promote responsible stewardship of our environment?
You can learn more about Georgia College’s efforts to be responsible stewards of our environment at Sustainability.