By: Emma Norton

Have you ever been in the University Center and noticed boxes on top of the recycling bins? These are part of a recycling program the UC partnered with called Terracycle. This program takes materials that are not usually accepted by local recycling companies and converts them into raw material to be reused! 

In the fall of 2022, one of our former UC student employees proposed the implementation of the Terracycle program. He found a program that would allow us to ship the collected materials to them to be cleaned, sorted, repurposed, and sold to manufacturing companies to be turned into something new! In October of 2022, the chip and candy wrapper program was launched in the UC for students to utilize. The Terracycle program accepts any and all chip and candy wrappers that you get with your meals on campus or at vending machines. So far, it has been utilized greatly within the UC and has been very successful.  

When I came in as the Sustainability Project Intern this semester, one of my goals was to expand this program. I have been working hard to implement an addition to this program, and I am happy to say that there will be more boxes in the UC to collect bottle caps along with the chip and candy wrappers. In these boxes, you can put all sorts of metal or plastic bottle caps. All you have to do is take the cap off and place it in the box before you recycle the single-use bottle! I chose bottle caps because, more often than not, they end up in our oceans, lakes, and rivers and are deadly to water life. With this program, we can help make sure that we are not adding to this problem, but doing our part to try to keep this waste away from marine life. 

Along with our boxes in the University Center, I am excited to announce that we will be doing a competition for Earth Week (April 22-26) within the residence halls. The residents of the halls that collect the largest amount of chip and candy wrappers and bottle caps throughout the course of that week will receive an environmentally sustainable gift! More details about this event will be located on the University Center’s and Housing’s social media pages as we get closer to Earth Week!

The next time you are eating chips or candy in the University Center, find a Terracycle box to dispose of your wrapper! Make sure to keep an eye out for the bottle cap boxes throughout the UC!