Office of External Affairs

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Executive Director of External Affairs
Michelle Pourciau

Media Inquiries
John Gordon, Jr., Director
Office of Communications
202.274.5998 (o) | 202.697.1310 (c)

Date of Publication: 

Improved Campus Waste Management Plan


To: University Community

Subject: Improved Campus Waste Management Plan

Dear University Community:

The Office of the Vice President for Facilities & Real Estate in conjunction and the University's Sustainability Initiative are excited to initiate the latest phase of the our enhanced waste management program for the Flagship Campus.

First, some facts about UDC and our current waste management practices:

  • According to the Clean Air Council, the average American produces nearly 5 pounds of garbage each day and much of it is produced at work.
  • UDC currently recycles less than half of the rate achieved by peer institutions like Georgetown University.
  • The city‐wide average for recycled waste is 33%, while the University currently recycles slightly less (23%) of its solid waste.
  • Our recycling diversion rate of 23% is an improvement of nearly 50% over where we started at the beginning of the year.

The University is making strides to become more sustainable, and now there is a new way for you to do your part.

Starting today, April 19, 2011, there will be improvements to how trash and recyclable materials are handled on our campus.

Step 1 – The University's janitorial contractor will no longer empty your trash can. You will be responsible for depositing your trash into the new centralized trash and recycling stations placed throughout the campus. Employees are asked to continue taking their recyclables to the centralized recycling stations also placed throughout the campus.

Step 2 ‐ Your office trash cans will now be replaced with a new, compact "mini‐bins". These"mini‐bins" are intended to discourage waste production.

Step 3 – New, distinctive trash and recycling stations will be conveniently located throughout the campus to make it easy for you to empty your "mini‐bin".

Step 4 – Janitorial staff will use white or black colored liners for the centralized trash containers and will use blue liners for the centralized recycling stations.

The new mini‐bins that will replace your existing trash can are 6 inches tall and can hold 1.5 liters of garbage, and are meant to sit on individual desks. Each bin has a lid and the mantra"This is all the garbage I make!" in white letters to remind us all to create less waste. Barbara Jumper, Vice President for Facilities and Real Estate says "This new system, previously adopted by the University of Maryland and the DC government, has proven to both significantly reduce
the amount of trash produced while simultaneously increasing the percentage of trash that gets recycled. It makes people think about what they throw out and if they are doing it properly." Many offices have witnessed a 50% drop in the amount of garbage that gets produced and a 50% increase in the amount of trash that gets recycled. As a reminder the following is a list of items that can and cannot be recycled.

Items that CAN be recycled

  • Paper: paper plates, cups, newspapers, magazines, shredded paper (if sealed in a bag)
  • Cardboard: cereal boxes, frozen food packaging, pizza boxes
  • Books: paperback, textbooks, hardback, phone books
  • Wax/aseptic cartons: milk cartons, juice boxes
  • Plastic containers: #1‐7 bottles, jugs, trays, etc.
  • Plastic bags/film: Must be contained within one bag
  • Steel/tin cans: rinsed out soup cans and fruit cans
  • Aluminum: cans, containers, foil, pie pans, etc.
  • Glass: jars, bottles

Items that CANNOT be recycled

  • Used paper towels, tissues, etc.
  • Trash/food waste
  • Candy or food wrappers
  • Styrofoam and any form of foam packing material
  • Plastic cutlery

As the only urban land-grant institution in the United States, the University of the District of Columbia ( supports a broad mission of education, research and community service across all member colleges and schools, which include the Community College, College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences, College Arts and Sciences, School of Business and Public Administration, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and David A. Clarke School of Law.

The University of the District of Columbia is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. Minorities, women, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For a full version of the University’s EO Policy Statement, please visit:

The University of the District of Columbia is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education - 3624 Market Street - Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 267.284.5000


Alan Etter, Vice President of University Relations & Public Affairs,, 202.345.6371