When UAB Facilities began assessing new ways the university could save money this past year, it looked in the trash.

UAB spent more than $500,000 on solid waste disposal in 2008-09. In an effort to save this money, the new Recycling Center was opened by Facilities in March. Arnold Self, left, and Don Champion work with the center and building administrators who choose to participate in the program.
UAB spent more than $500,000 on solid waste disposal in 2008-09 — not including the waste generated by the UAB Health Systems properties — and the staff in Facilities estimated that 60 percent of the materials in campus dumpsters were recyclable.

So UAB opened the new Recycling Center located at 620 11th Street South in March to support the university’s commitment to green practices and reduce the number of times per month dumpsters were being emptied.

“We knew if we were able to capture all of those recyclable materials in the dumpsters we would be able to dramatically reduce our waste costs,” says Scott Moran, business manager in Facilities.

Facilities has placed paper recycling containers in UAB buildings since March to reduce waste, and it soon will expand its recycling program to include aluminum cans and types 1 and 2 plastics in its pick-up schedule. Those plastics include soda and cooking oil bottles, peanut butter jars, detergent bottles and milk jugs.

“Employees who are interested in recycling products from their buildings need to contact their building administrator,” Moran says. “We’re offering to pick up plastic and aluminum in campus buildings, and we hope to capture even more paper.”

Building administrators can contact Moran at smoran@uab.edu or at 934-9443 to learn more. The alternate contact is Jon Paolone at recycle@uab.edu or 996-9043.

Building administrators who choose to participate in the program will have plastic and aluminum can recycling containers placed in their buildings, with a minimum of one set of containers per floor. A regular pick-up schedule also will be set. The expanded recycling program also will provide desk-side paper recycling containers to all private spaces in participating buildings.

Moran already has spoken to the administrators of 30 campus buildings to ascertain their interest and calculate the number of recycling containers needed.

“We’ve ordered the plastic and aluminum containers, and we hope those containers will be in place by the end of October or early November,” Moran says. “We already have paper totes in 50 to 60 buildings on campus. We’re trying to get paper, aluminum and plastic recycling available in all buildings.”

Faculty, staff and students will be encouraged to bring their aluminum cans or plastics to one of the centrally located containers in their building. Because of its weight, paper will be picked up directly from private spaces.

Drop-off center hours
Building Services is paying for the recycling program through the money saved by fewer dumpster pick-ups and from a modest amount of revenue generated from the sale of the recyclable materials.

Moran says the drop-off center has afforded UAB the opportunity to expand the program since it has the ability to process the material.

"Many people were anxious to recycle more materials and were excited when we opened the drop-off center,” Moran says. “The traffic we get at the center is very loyal and very pleased to have the opportunity to recycle.”

The center offers the drop off collection service each Monday from 6:30 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. and from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m.