Fall 2018 Convocation

First off, welcome to the Fall Semester—can you believe it’s about to begin again! This summer has been a busy one here at ARC, bringing us 15 new solar trailers & a third wave of 32 new blue/black recycle stations. If you’d like more info on those, scroll down and check out the post just before this one!! This post is my regularly scheduled plea to encourage all Convocation attendees to consider:

  • If you are a coffee drinker, there will be coffee—bring your own reusable coffee mug
  • A reusable water bottle that can be filled up at the Elkay filtered water bottle refill station located in the atrium of the Student Center. There are 14 of these now to choose from here at ARC
  • Avoid using the non-recyclable black plastic plates & forks—bring your own reusable lunch-ware/fork
  • Skip the straws—they are never recyclable
  • Separate your waste correctly and avoid contaminating our recycle waste stream with food items to increase the chances of keeping those separated items out of the land fill

Convocation Waste Audit:
Call for volunteers…

We’ll be doing another waste audit out in front of the Student Center once convocation is over and I could use some volunteers; so, if you have a couple of hours on this very busy day to see how well everyone sorted our trash/recycling/food waste, please hit reply and let me know. I am trying to get a representative out here from Waste Management, not only to help us out, but to hold a discussion about their response to China’s new rules regarding recycling that you have undoubtedly been hearing about in the news.

Many of you have reached out to me with questions about China’s National Sword Policy and how we are going to address the changes brought in by the rule changes as far as recycling goes. While there is a lot of work going on right now by our haulers to find new waste streams around the world, the bottom line is WE ALL need to work harder on the most important R of the four R’s—REDUCE. Eliminating single use plastics, especially the ones that go straight to our landfill will become more and more important this year; as will rinsing off and drying your recyclables.

REDUCE, Reuse, Recycle & Rot…

According to Waste Management (ARC’s waste hauler):

  • Paper and cardboard must be dry and free of food debris.
  • Tissues, paper towels or other paper that has been in contact with food is not acceptable.
  • Make sure food contamination and caps are removed from cans and plastics and all containers are empty.
  • Separate plastic lids from plastic bottles (often made from different materials).
  • Do not place medical waste (needles, catheters or lancets) into the recycling containers.


It’s going to be more and more important that we understand the specific needs of our waste haulers, and that requirements vary depending on their capabilities/equipment/policy. Be sure to check in with your waste hauler if you haven’t recently as they are all making changes and they are all emphasizing the need to stop the ‘WISHFUL RECYCLING’ of items that CONTAMINATE the waste stream.


Waste not generated is waste we won’t have to dispose of. Please consider doing your part in source reduction where ever you can. If you’d like to discuss this further, or have ideas for your own department that you’d like help implementing please feel free to reach out. The only way we are going to meet our state’s diversion mandates & our president’s zero-waste goals is by having everyone here evaluate & look for opportunities to improve how they handle their trash.

Don Reid