University Facilities

Recycling on Campus

Office Recycling at Clemson

In 2010, Clemson University took recycling to a new level, and all faculty, staff and students were encouraged to step up with this environmental initiative. The university adopted a plan, endorsed by the President’s Commission on Sustainability, to minimize the amount of recyclables trashed in campus offices, classrooms and residence halls. Custodial and recycling staff have replaced traditional trash cans in all university buildings. Custodial staff now empty the recycling bins; and individuals are responsible for emptying their mini trash bins into larger trash receptacles located in hallways, break rooms and restrooms.

Download your guide for In Office Recycling Here

  • Overview +

    Under this program, trash cans were removed from offices and classrooms. Offices were given a Mini Bin for trash and a Blue Office Recycling Bin. Recycling stations were then placed in convenient locations in the hallways. Residence hall rooms have also been outfitted with recycling bins, in which students can empty into central collection bins — as they have done in the past with their trash cans.

    During a student-led pilot program in Brackett and Sirrine halls prior to implementation, the recycling rate doubled. About 90 percent of what goes into the trash can be recycled. Programs like this one have been successfully implemented by hospitals, banks, military bases and federal, state and municipal governments. Purdue and Pacific Lutheran universities were early adopters and Penn State and UNC-Charlotte are now piloting similar systems. A grant from Alcoa, the College and University Recycling Coalition and Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization, provided 7,000 recycling bins for Clemson offices, classrooms and other spaces.

  • Office Spaces +

    Each office must be provided with a desk side recycling bin and a mini-trash can. The standard models of each are:

    7 Gallon Desk Side.
    7 Gallon Desk Side
    23 Gallon Wall-Hugger
    23 Gallon Wall-hugger
    Hanging Mini Trash Can
    Hanging Mini-Can
    Mini Trash Can
    Mini Trash Can
  • Hallways +

    Interior space for recycling collection must be allocated based on where and how much material is generated. The Custodial Closet is not considered an appropriate or adequate recycling station. There must always be a trash can adjacent to or as part of the indoor recycling site. Office paper, newspaper/magazine, and bottle/can recycling locations should be located on each floor. If the hall way is long, there should be an adequate number of stations in the hall to make recycling/disposal practical.

    In non-public areas, “Slimjim” bins are sufficient. In public areas, recycling cabinets that conceal the “Slimjim” bins may be used instead of “Slimjim” bins alone.

    All containers shall be located on an accessible path of travel per the ADA and State Building Code. Care should be given to locate containers away from exit doors, elevators, or in areas that may impede movement in the event of an emergency. In accordance with applicable codes, recycling containers should be placed away from fire alarms, extinguishers and automatic door openers. Recycling containers shall not be placed in stairwells.

    Whenever possible, departments should share recycling areas. When this is not possible, each department should have its own recycling areas. If there is only one department for the whole building, there should be adequate recycling centers for office paper, newspaper/magazine, and bottle/can collection on each floor.

  • General Recycling Guidelines +

    Indoor recycling must be provided in the following areas:

    • work rooms *
    • copy rooms *
    • break rooms **
    • computer labs *
    • lounges **
    • outside classrooms and auditoriums **
    • other areas where people will congregate or generate recyclables **

    * Copier, mail and work rooms must have a trash can and up to two recycling bins (one for office fiber and one for newspapers/magazines).

    ** Public areas must have at least a trash can, bottle/can bin, and office paper bin. In some situations, news print/ magazine bins are also needed in public areas.

    Buildings such as residence halls, dining halls, athletic facilities, theatres, conference centers, shipping and receiving areas, etc. may have special needs. Consult Director of Custodial and Recycling for assistance with planning space for indoor recycling in these areas.

    The Director of Custodial and Recycling will work with designers and building occupants to determine location, the number and type of bins needed.

    Side note: While there are several different styles of indoor recycling bins, planning for a footprint of 24" W x 24" D per container is adequate.

  • Classrooms +

    There will be no waste receptacles in classrooms.

  • FAQs +

    Q: How can the Mini Bin hold all my garbage? It's so small.

    A: You can now recycle almost everything that comes across your desk. The amount of 'real' garbage left is very little, so the Mini Bin will be big enough.

    Q: Why do I have to empty my own garbage? That's not what I get paid for.

    A: The Mini Bin may only need to be emptied once or twice a week, so it's not a great inconvenience. It can be done during one of the many times you leave your desk. In order to make the program work, everyone has to be involved.

    Q: What happens when I leave food stuff and items that make a mess and smell? We don't have composting in our office.

    A: If you eat lunch at your desk, it's best to put food scraps directly into the central garbage bin. Promote the use of litter-less lunches. Mini Bin liners are available for use in the Mini Bin. But they must be thrown into the central garbage bin every day.

    Q: I handle too many courier packs during the day - where will they go?

    A: In this situation, request a larger recycling bin. Most of the courier packs can be recycled if the plastic is removed.

    Q: Why do we need this new program? I thought we are already recycling.

    A: Our "Before" waste audit shows that there is still a tremendous amount of recyclable materials still going out of people's garbage bins. By replacing garbage bins with Mini Bins, we reduce the possibility of people not recycling.

    Q: How will we know if the Mini Bin Program is working?

    A: We will conduct an "After" waste audit. Then we will compare the "Before" and "After" waste audits to see the progress of the program.

    Q: How do I know what to recycle and what is garbage?

    A: There is an updated list of recyclable materials available. If you have any further questions on this, please call the recycling coordinator.

    Q: What if I don't want to go along with the Mini Bin Program?

    A: The Mini Bin Program has been adopted by President’s Commission on Sustainability as a real way to reduce operating costs, and as such, all employees are encouraged to participate to all our benefit. Custodial staff will no longer go from desk to desk to empty garbage bins, so ultimately you are still responsible for emptying your garbage.

    Q: My desk is too small and cluttered. I don't have any room left to put the Mini Bin on it.

    A: A similar unit designed to attach to your recycling bin is also available.

    Q: Do other organizations use this program?

    A: The Mini Bin Program has been successfully implemented in such organizations as:

    • Hospitals
    • School Boards
    • Insurance Companies
    • Banks
    • Military Bases
    • Universities
    • Federal Governments
    • State Governments
    • Municipalities & Counties
Solid Green