UNI, Cedar Valley Recycling team up for mixed-recycling initiative


An aerial shot of the University of Northern Iowa. (University of Northern Iowa)
An aerial shot of the University of Northern Iowa. (University of Northern Iowa)

Nick Fetty | September 9, 2015

The University of Northern Iowa has teamed up with Cedar Valley Recycling & Transfers to handle mixed-recycling collected on the UNI campus.

“There is a significant savings recognized by recycling and avoiding expensive landfill fees,” Mike Zwanziger, director of UNI’s Physical Plant said in a press release. “Trees and water are saved by recycling, less oil and other natural resources are used to recycle materials in lieu of using new materials, and less waste is being sent to a landfill, lessening the need to expand or open new landfills.”

Recycling bins are scattered across the UNI campus to collect paper, cardboard, plastic, and metal materials which will then be sorted at the recycling center. Despite being recyclable, the vendor is unable to accept styrofoam or glass containers.

UNI has teamed with the City of Cedar Falls to provide a recycling substation on the southwest corner of campus since 2012. During that time, 411.52 tons of paper, 248.6 tons of cardboard, 128.92 tons of plastic, 52.92 tons of glass, 33.41 tons of tin, and 8.52 tons of plastic bags have been collected.

The Princeton Review named UNI to its 2016 Green College Honor Roll recognizing not only recycling and sustainability practices but also research and outreach initiatives like the Center for Energy and Environmental Education and the Iowa Waste Reduction Center. Iowa State University was also named to the list of the nation’s top 24 environmentally conscious colleges and universities. The list was compiled using several different criteria including efforts to purchase local and organic food, overall waste diversion rate, and amount of campus energy generated from renewable sources.

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