Five tips for recycling like a pro at the U

Five tips for recycling like a pro at the U

By Life@TheU

Five tips for recycling like a pro at the U

By Life@TheU
Learn how to be sustainable at the University of Miami.

No matter which University campus you’re on, you can be a recycling pro in just a few simple steps. Life@TheU sat down with Teddy Lhoutellier, UM’s GreenU sustainability manager, to learn what we can do to be more sustainable in our day-to-day at work. Take a minute to review and note the following important points. 

Single stream recycling

There are recycling bins located in University offices across all campuses, but knowing what to put where can be one of the biggest deterrents. Why are there so many rules when it comes to being green? Recycling facilities in Miami-Dade County are set up to process certain items and knowing which recyclables are accepted can make or break your efforts. Here are a few reminders for single stream recycling at the U:

Do recycle empty cans and bottles, and unsoiled light-weight cardboard boxes, paper, newspapers, and magazines. Flatten empty cardboard boxes and place them next to the recycling bin to be collected.

Don’t toss your glass containers, loose plastic, plastic food containers, or plastic wraps, cups, lids, straws in the recycling bins. 

Pro tip: Single use batteries are not recycled in Miami-Dade County. Stick to rechargeable batteries if possible or consider ordering a Big Green Box, which allows you to collect used batteries and ship back the full box for proper processing. Learn more

Tone it up

UM’s program for recycling used toner cartridges has changed and the bins previously used have been retired. With the new program, University copiers may qualify for recycling using prepaid shipping labels. 

To get started, confirm that your copier is listed as part of the UM Canon toner cartridge recycling program. If your copier qualifies, there are two options to ship using a prepaid label. Learn more

If your copier model is not listed or isn’t Canon brand, consider participating in the recycling program with Staples, which is processed through Workday purchasing via UMarketplace, a space available to all University faculty and staff to purchase goods and services. Learn more

The office (paper)

GreenU is working to make offices on the Coral Gables campus more sustainable with a new program that recycles office paper separately from single stream recycling. Find specific office paper recycling bins by your copier machine—either a tall blue bin or a grey rolling cart. Help reduce waste in the workplace and save trees by disposing clean office paper in these dedicated bins. Continue recycling empty cans, bottles, lightweight cardboard, and newspapers in the tall blue recycling bins located in either the kitchen, lounge, or hallway. Learn more

Pro tip: Keep in mind the office paper recycling bins should not contain newspaper, junk mail, brown paper bags, or empty cardboard boxes. 

Go green

Additionally, your office can apply to be part of the Green Office program. To qualify, chat with your department and agree to work together on implementing sustainability efforts, including purchasing, transportation, education and outreach, recycling, and energy usage. Learn about other ways your office can be green

Pro tip: Set your computer to enter sleep mode after ten minutes of inactivity. When purchasing supplies, look for office paper that meets the Forest Stewardship Council standards—meaning it has been harvested in a responsible manner—and avoid buying plastic stirrers, straws, and styrofoam products. 

Live the lifestyle

There are simple steps you can take right now to limit your carbon footprint and live more sustainably. Pack your lunch and bring your own mug, water bottle, and reusable utensils. Eliminate the use of disposable plastic wherever possible. Focus on being less wasteful and incorporate more plants into your diet. Get outside and plant trees or your own vegetable garden. Instead of driving everywhere, consider walking, biking or taking mass transit to your destination.

Pro tip: Get involved with GreenU. 

Learn more at For questions, contact or call 305-284-8520.

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