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What We Do
- Recycling and Refuse Handling Operations
- Construction and Demolition Recycling
- Purchasing Initiative
Refuse Handling Purdue University uses two 20 cubic yard rear-loading trucks to empty the contents from 371 dumpsters and compactors around the West Lafayette campus every week. 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 operates two 18-foot boxbed trucks on two separate routes. The trucks collect the 64 gallon Otto carts into which recyclable office paper and newspaper is loaded. There are 340 carts in use which are located in 104 buildings on campus. 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 75% of its solid waste from landfills. This included recyclable paper, metals and aluminum and bi-metal cans. This also included telephone directories, scrap paper discarded by the campus printing plant and hardbound books from the Purdue Libraries. On moving-out weekend, Purdue's students also contributed discarded belongings to Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana. These efforts have enabled Purdue University to keep a lot of items out of the landfill. This has resulted in net savings from tipping fees avoidance and revenue from the sale of the recyclable byproducts.
Concrete Approximately 40,000 tons of concrete construction debris have been crushed since the 94-95 fiscal year. This crushed material 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. E-mail the Civil Engineering section for additional information on this project.
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 it has reduced the distance that the topsoil needs to be transported from its source.
Whenever possible, the Purchasing Department encourages end-users to purchase products made from recyclable material, including office paper and plastic building products.