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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Year Submitted: 2007

Process: Maintenance

Industry: Educational Institution

Wastes Reduced: Sawdust

Location: Chapel Hill NC

Contact: Charles Button

Phone: (919) 962-1442


Since 1989, the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR) of the Physical Plant Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) has managed the collection, transportation, and processing of all recyclable materials on campus. The Environmental Programs Division, which now oversees the OWRR, was created in 1993 to help cope with the growing number of environmental issues on campus and at the Physical Plant. The recyclable materials that make up the majority of this waste stream are generated by the 33,200 students, faculty, and employees that make up this large campus community.

P2 Application:

Programs have been established to collect, compost, mulch, recycle, and reuse forty different items on the campus:
Composting and Mulch Animal bedding, grass clippings, tree debris, and sawdust from the carpentry shop are collected for composting and mulching. The composting project reduces the generation of solid waste and fertilizer consumption on the campus.
Recycling Programs have been established to collect and recycle aluminum cans, asphalt, automobile batteries and oil, cardboard, six types of paper, cooking grease, copper wire, fluorescent light bulbs, freon, three types of glass, magazines, newspaper, plastic event cups, milk jugs, soda bottles, polystyrene food shells, PVC pipe scraps, scrap metal, steel cans, telephone books, and transformer oil. Approximately 70 permanent recycling sites have been placed around the campus.
Reuse Food waste from the dining halls is donated to a local farmer; trees cut for new construction are sold to staff as firewood; polystyrene packing peanuts are mailed back to the scientific supply shop for reuse; and computer printer toner cartridges are refilled from bulk containers and reused.

  • Total Cost Savings: $80,748.00
  • Comments: Item Savings, $ Tip fee costs avoided 70,680 Revenues received 10,068 Trash service fees avoided *64,376 Total 80,748 *Assumes savings of $0.66 per cubic yard

Details of Reductions

  • 2,280.0 - Tons of   Solid Waste
    Comments: During the FY 1994-95, UNC-CHs recycling and reuse programs diverted from the Orange County landfill 2,280 tons of material, or 34 percent of the campus total solid waste stream.

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