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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

Hokie Cyclers now available at Central Stores

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 04 - September 14, 1995

Specifically designed for the Virginia Tech Recycling program, these compact, three-compartment boxes, printed with campus paper recycling guidelines in maroon, are now available at Central Stores for $2 each. VTR asks that departments purchase Hokie Cyclers for their faculty and staff. Pictured is Larry Bechtel.

Recycling Efforts Bearing Fruit
By Larry Bechtel,
Virginia Tech Recycling director

A recently released study, Recovered Paper in North America: 1995 Update, "forecasts that global demand for recovered paper will climb 35.5% to 150 million tons by the year 2000, compared to a 1993 demand of 110 million tons. This could lead to a chronic supply/demand imbalance that could keep recovered paper prices high for several years," especially for newspaper, corrugated cardboard, and white paper. (Recycling Times, Aug. 22, 1995)

The strength of paper prices worldwide has had a ripple effect locally, as well. Since May 1, 1995, white paper has doubled in value, and both newspaper and corrugated cardboard, for the first time, have been returning revenue. For all three materials, the total return for the months May, June, and July, was $6,743.50. The revenue return for August should be excellent, with nearly 15 tons of corrugated cardboard boxes collected in five days from the student move-in.

Nevertheless, contamination remains an issue. Plastic transparencies, for example, appear with alarming frequency in the white-paper and mixed-paper bins. Obviously, transparencies are not paper, so paper processors and brokers will not pay to ship loads of paper with transparencies mixed in. Therefore, to preserve the value of the recovered paper, it falls to the VTR staff to pull these transparencies out. This is slow work, and there is not enough time in the day to do this and keep the paper moving. (More than 100,000 pounds were sent off campus for processing in July.) Please simplify the work of the VTR collection staff by following the campus recycling guidelines listed below.

Other highlights of the Virginia Tech Recycling program:

Custodial pick up of recyclable paper from offices is "in the works." This has become operational in a number of buildings, and is working well. Carefully coordinated with each department, the arrangement is based upon the following agreement: on the days custodians are scheduled to pick up recyclable paper, they will not be emptying trash cans in individual offices.

Bob's Refuse is the new recycling contractor. Bob's Refuse, the contractor for Blacksburg's trash collection and curbside recycling, beat out both BFI and Waste Management (the previous contractor). Bob's quick response time and eagerness to work with VTR will improve the recycling program's overall efficiency, and provide accurate paper weights.

Newspaper rolloff will be added to the list of dropsites. A 30-cubic yard rolloff is to be placed at the west end of the gravel parking lot between Smithfield Road and Oak Lane (near the Virginia Tech Golf Course) for newspaper only. Eventually, this location-approved through the University Architect's Office-will become a consolidated site, with dropsites for all recyclable materials collected on campus (white paper/newspaper/mixed paper/aluminum cans/clear glass bottles/brown glass bottles/green & blue glass bottles/#1 & #2 plastic bottles/steel cans).

Styrofoam-packing blocks and peanuts-is now being recycled on campus. Through RADVA Corporation, approximately 1,500 pounds have been recycled since June, 1995. Dropsites are located at the loading docks of Derring and McBryde. Please put the Styrofoam in large plastic garbage bags, for ease of handling later.

Virginia Tech Recycling campus guidelines:

WHITE PAPER

Photo copy paper, letterhead paper, notebook paper, computer paper, stationery, opscan forms. NO colored sheets, post-it notes, envelopes, ream wrappers, fax paper.

MIXED PAPER

Junk mail, magazines, paperback books, catalogs and phonebooks, brochures, pamphlets, colored paper, window envelopes, ream wrappers. NO carbon paper, waxed cartons.

NEWSPAPER

News pages, glossy inserts, comic pages. NO paper that does not come with the newspaper itself.

Staples and paper clips are okay.

If you have any questions or comments, please call the Virginia Tech Recycling office at 1-9915 or REUSE@vtvm1).