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Recycling and Refuse Handling Operations

Refuse Handling – Purdue University uses rear-loading trucks to empty the contents from the dumpsters and compactors around the West Lafayette campus. Residence Halls docks and containers are emptied seven days a week during the fall and spring semesters and are checked Monday through Friday during the summer months. Married Student Housing dumpsters are emptied on Mondays and Thursdays year round because most occupants are 12-month residents. Hilltop Apartments refuse containers are checked twice weekly on the regular collection days and emptied as necessary. The loading docks throughout the campus are checked on a daily basis, Monday through Friday, for pallets and other types of debris for either recycling (as in the case of pallets or metals) or for disposal at the refuse transfer station in Lafayette. The vegetation and debris pits at Life Science Greenhouses, Horticulture Greenhouses and Civil Engineering Building are cleaned weekly.

Recycling Operation – Purdue Recycling trucks collect the carts into which recyclable office paper and newspaper are loaded. Buildings are set up on a Monday-Wednesday-Friday or Tuesday-Thursday collection schedule, depending on the size of building and volume of recyclable materials. The Purdue mobile cardboard-recycling baler stops at each Residence Hall, Hawkins Graduate House and more than 50 different campus buildings each week. During the move-in weekend, cardboard is transferred by truck to the Grounds Department for more efficient baling.

Annually, Purdue diverts approximately 80% of its solid waste from landfills. This includes recyclable paper, metals and aluminum and bi-metal cans. This also included telephone directories, scrap paper and hardbound books from the Purdue Libraries. These efforts have enabled Purdue University to keep a lot of items out of the landfill.

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Construction and Demolition Recycling

Concrete – Crushed concrete construction debris has been used for numerous projects as riprap and as subbase material. Since each project recharges the recycling account, concrete recycling has proven extremely cost-effective.

Compost – Purdue has been investigating cooperative programs with the surrounding cities in an effort to reduce the amount of topsoil that is purchased for construction projects. Composting has also proven to be very cost effective because it has reduced the amount of topsoil that needs to be purchased and the distance the topsoil needs to be transported from its source.

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Purchasing Initiative

Whenever possible, the Purchasing Department encourages end-users to purchase products made from recyclable material, including office paper and plastic building products.

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