Sustainability - Green Notes

Recycling at Tennessee Tech

reduce reuse recycleHere at Tennessee Tech, we strive to make recycling a top priority. Between our many recycling stations placed around campus and our numerous sustainability events centered around recycling, I would say that we are doing a pretty great job! Within the past couple of years, we have been awarded grants from both TDEC and PepsiCo Zero Waste Fund. These grants are used to improve our recycling program as well as our Recycling Education Campaign. We take a lot of pride in our recycling program. One way we do this is by keeping track of our annual recycling tonnage. We do this not only for our own records but also as a way to compare and contrast how much is being recycled yearly. The numbers keep rising as more and more students and staff become aware of the importance of recycling! Plus, Tennessee Tech makes it very simple to recycle!

As aforementioned, we have plenty of recycling stations placed around campus. These can be found in almost every building on campus. Look for them in main entrances, copy/mail rooms, and break rooms! These stations are also labeled with picture and word signage so as not to get confused about where to put your items. Unfortunately, Putnam County is not able to process all recyclables; however, here is a list of all the things that we do recycle at Tennessee Tech: computer paper, mixed paper, cardboard, aluminum, metal, fluorescent tubes, motor oil, kitchen grease, tires, wood pallets, batteries, plastic, and yard waste. Things other than the typical paper, plastic, aluminum, etc. require a Work Order for it to be picked up. Once a work order is placed and received, a student worker will come by within the next few days to properly dispose of your requested recyclables. 

Many questions revolve around the idea of recycling. I have chosen four frequently asked questions in regards to campus recycling to hone in on.

Q1: What happens to my recycling at TN Tech? 
A1: All campus recycling is taken to the Putnam County Solid Waste and Recycling center. 
Q2: Where can I recycle glass?
A2: There is a city drop-off located in Tech Village. That is the closest location to recycle your glass; however you can also find more locations on the City of Cookeville website. 
Q3: How can I recycle my confidential documents?
A3: Tennessee Tech partners with Shred-It to ensure that confidential documents are properly shredded and disposed of. There are locked disposal boxes located in each building on campus to put your confidential documents in. 
Q4: What all can I recycle? 
A4: Check out TN Tech’s recycling page to get a better understanding of what you can and cannot recycle. 
As always, feel free to contact the Office of Sustainability at with any further questions! We would be happy to help you!

Recycling is such an important—and easy—thing that you can do to be more sustainable on campus. However, there is much more to sustainability than just recycling. I encourage you to dig deep into your school’s website to find out all the efforts being made towards sustainability. If you would like to see more things being done on campus, then take things into your own hands, and try to spearhead a new eco-friendly initiative on campus! It does not have to be anything big and outrageous. Small changes can make a big difference! 

 Lydia Young
Tennessee Tech University 
English Literature

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