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Seeing green? UC Davis Health re-engineers recycling to reduce landfill waste

Originally published by UC Davis Health

(SACRAMENTO) Throughout the main UC Davis Health campus, bright green signs now appear in break rooms, nursing stations, offices, clean utility rooms, and just about everywhere else. Look closer and you’ll see that these pops of color are part of a new recycling program that ensures re-usable materials reach one destination: the recycling plant.

“Ultimately, this helps us achieve our sustainability goals and our waste reduction goals,” said Julianna Moore, project manager for Environmental Services. “This is a vastly improved program. You will see recycling everywhere, with clearly marked signage, and you can be assured these materials are getting to the recycling plant.”

Since launching the new program earlier this year, a significant increase in materials has been delivered to waste management company Republic Services’ recycling plant. Key to that success is making sure that recyclable materials remain separate, all the way to the plant.

To do that, Environmental Services researched locations throughout various departments where the most recycling could be captured. Signage, distinctive green bags, dedicated recycling staff, and other safeguards followed. Ultimately, the green bags are taken straight to large recycling bins located on loading dock. From there, Republic Services’ recycling truck transports to the recycling plant.

“If it sounds simple, then we’ve done our jobs right. This is about education and making it easy for people to know what to recycle and where,” Moore said. “Once you recycle an item, we ensure that item remains separate and that it reaches the recycling plant.”

How do we know?

Early on, Environmental Services started by working with Republic Services to confirm what they would recycle and to establish a schedule for delivering the designated materials to their recycling plant. Republic Services’ recycling crew is now picking up recycling three times each week at the UC Davis Health campus.

To learn more, watch the video “Recycling Reimagined"