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Where Does the Recycling Go?

Single-Stream Recycling

Single-Stream recycling is the method of collecting more than one recyclable material in one container. This improves convenience for the user, resulting in increased recyclables captured and diverted from the landfill.  WKU accepts the following materials in all recycling containers across campus: Plastics #1-7, glass, cardboard, paper, and aluminum/tin. Recyclables are collected daily from academic buildings, residence hall, athletic venues, community bins, parking structures, and special events.  WKU's co-mingled recyclables are transported to West Rock's Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) in Louisville, KY, where they are sorted, baled, and sold to downstream vendors. 

Why does WKU partner with WestRock?

  1. WestRock allows a higher contamination rate (up to 20%), so it doesn't threaten our whole load if a non-recyclable item is put in the wrong bin.
  2. WestRock has stable downsteam partners, so we can feel confident material is genuinely recycled. 
  3. WestRock is committed to domestic recycling. Shipping materials overseas is not a part of their business model, so when China stopped accepting recycling from the US it didn’t impact WKU's program directly. This practice also minimizes the carbon footprint of transporting recycling since all materials are remanufactured in a 1 state radius.

West Rock is an integrated recycling company -- one that is invested and involved in more than one process of materials management. Not only do they sort materials and bale them, but they also manufacture new products from post-consumer recyclable materials and market/sell these "new" products to vendors. Learn more about West Rock here!


Why green bags for recycling? 

Anything recycled in a black bag will go to the landfill! Black bags are difficult to see through to visibly assess whether or not the contents is safe for handling; therefore, black bags are immediately discarded. Although West Rock does accept recyclables in clear bags, WKU uses some clear bags for trash collection. Green bags allow for visible differentiation between trash and recycling. Need more green bags? Contact us at 745-4766.


Electronic Recycling

Any functioning, modern electronic item is sold on GovDeals.com to generate revenue for the University and minimize the impact of remanufacturing. WKU Surplus sells computers, monitors, printers, ipads and much more.

Old computers, broken and discarded electronics, and all university "e-waste" is recycled in Evansville, IN. This e-cycler will recycle the precious metals from computers, refurbish computers, donate computers, and re-purpose as much of the e-scrap as possible.

Learn more about C and I Electronics


Metal Recycling

Large metal pieces of recycling are transported to Parrish/TPM Recycling in Bowling Green, KY. 


Printer Cartridge Recycling

Recycle your printer cartridges by contacting Ricoh Printing. 

Ultimately, the cartridges are turned into new products as shown in the diagram below:

How printer toner is recycled


What about the Waste?

WKU has a contract with Scott Waste to haul all of our waste and some of our recycling. The single stream recycling, glass, and cardboard are all hauled away from campus by Scott Waste to the various vendors mentioned above. The waste hauled off from WKU is sent to Hopkins County Regional Landfill in White Plains, KY.

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 Last Modified 1/26/22