In Oshkosh, both on-campus and off-campus, recycling is taken to Tri-County Recycling, which serves Brown, Winnebago, and Outagamie Counties. We use single stream recycling on campus and in the community, which means all paper, metal, plastics and anything recyclable is collected together, then sorted at the facility.
One of the biggest problems with recycling on campus is cross-contamination. If a recycling bin has regular trash in it, then the entire bin is disposed of as trash. If a recycling bin has regular trash in it, the materials may still be recycled but there is a chance the garbage might contaminate the recycling too where it is no longer recyclable. Custodial staff cannot sort recycling bins and remove contamination. In order to alleviate any chances of cross-contamination, please only put recyclable materials in the blue recycling bins.
Did you know it may take 1,000 years for a plastic water bottle to break down in the environment? Remember, many plastic items can be sent to the Tri-County facility! This includes yogurt and produce containers, cups, etc. However, make sure they are not filled with food. The good news is, you can make sure the bottle is empty but now leave the cap on. Pizza boxes are even acceptable now, as long as you remove the bits of food. We are lucky to have carton recycling at Tri-County, so that all those milk and juice cartons aren’t being thrown away! Explore the nitty-gritty of our extensive recyclables list here.
Plastic wrap and bag recycling is accepted at most local stores such as Target, Pick n Save, and Festival, as well as in academic buildings on campus. The full list of what’s recyclable might surprise you – take a look here.
If you have old electronics to recycle, many department stores will recycle them for you, the most comprehensive being Best Buy (which may even give you a gift card for more valuable electronics, but also charges for larger electronics like monitors and televisions) and Staples. If you are looking to dispose of clothes, Goodwill (located at 1600 W. 20th Ave and at 2303 Westowne Ave) and thrift stores such as the St. Vincent de Paul Society at 2551 Jackson Street will take gently used clothing and other merchandise that is still usable! The residence halls also have a program for donations, which saves you the trip to the thrift store.
For more info on Wisconsin recycling, visit http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/recycling/facts.html. The Campus Sustainability Office, or CSO, is located online at uwosh.edu/sustainability and in person at 4477 and 4475 Sage Hall. You can reach the CSO at 920-424-1191 and firstname.lastname@example.org.