Reuse on campus
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Reuse on Campus. The University of Vermont Solid Waste & Recycling Physical Plant Department. Reuse Can Be Simple . Inter-office mailing envelopes. Don’t Forget the Small Stuff. Reusable CUPPS = “Can’t Use Paper, Plastic or Styrofoam” Cups. Two Reuse Programs at UVM.

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Reuse on Campus

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Reuse on Campus

The University of Vermont

Solid Waste & Recycling

Physical Plant Department

Reuse Can Be Simple

  • Inter-office mailing envelopes

Don’t Forget the Small Stuff

  • Reusable CUPPS = “Can’t Use Paper, Plastic or Styrofoam” Cups

Two Reuse Programs at UVM

  • Office Supply Collection And Reuse (OSCAR)

  • Student Move-Out Week

Setting Up an Office Supply Exchange Program

  • Location

  • Name for Program

  • Organization & Upkeep

  • Marketing

  • Feedback & Measuring Results

Elements for a Successful Program:

Find a convenient location.

e.g., OSCAR room at UVM is centrally located in Campus Student Center. Easy walk for most staff.

A name for the program.

e.g., OSCAR is catchy; easy to remember.

Organization and upkeep

OSCAR is a “self-serve” operation. Staff can drop off or pick up free items.

Marketing the program

  • Initial postcard sent to clerical and administrative staff.

  • Periodic e-mail reminders to business managers list.

  • Staff newsletter.

  • Word of mouth.

  • Table at Purchasing supplies “expo.”

  • Link off recycling website.

Feedback & Measuring Results

OSCAR users are asked to fill out a log book.

  • Did you Drop Off or Pick Up Items?

  • What Items?

  • Approximate Value of Items?

  • How did you hear about OSCAR?

  • Will you use OSCAR again?


  • 150 staff members, departments and offices have used OSCAR.

  • $2,500- $3,000 saved in office supply purchases in two years.

  • Tangible way to promote reuse “ethic” on campus.

Student Move-Out Week

  • An effort to collect reusable items that students would have thrown away, and donate them directly to local non-profit organizations.

3 Categories of reusables are collected from inside each hall

  • Clothing

  • Food & Toiletries

  • Small Household Items.

325 bags were collected by UVM Recycling Staff over the course of a week.

Bagged items were taken to a central location

Non-profit groups picked up items from central location.

12 area non-profits participated.

Working With Local Non-Profits

  • Contact them way in advance.

  • Be clear about expectations.

  • Written agreement or commitment.

  • Provide them with a good map of your campus.

  • Have them pick up from one location, if possible.

Working with Residential Life Staff

  • Get collection areas set up early.

  • Agree on roles and expectations, put in writing.

  • Agree on rules for staff scavenging.

  • Frequent collection to minimize mess.

The Bigger Challenge: Bulky Waste

Scavenging of loft wood is most successful.

But, unfortunately, recycling staff must pickup all by end of each day.

Promoting the Program to Students

  • Clear labels and signs:“tie shoes together” “no perishables”“no opened packages”

  • Posters, table tents in dining halls, RA newsletters, bulletin boards

  • Collection boxes in prominent locations.

In One Week….

  • Items were given directly to 12 non-profit groups in the area.

  • 3 tons of clothing

  • 2 tons of food & toiletries

  • 1 ton of small household items

  • 6.5 tons of loft wood recycled

  • 4 tons of furniture reused


  • 27 tons of couches still got trashed


  • Additional labor needed for the week.

  • We are expected to clear outdoor sites 24 hrs/day.

  • Arson

  • Most couches are in very poor condition; no reuse value.

For more info:University of VermontRecycling & Solid WasteErica Spiegel(802) [email protected]/recycle

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