America Recycles Day collection event exceeds 2011 results

November 21st, 2012 | Andrea Norris

On November 15, OSU hosted its second annual special recycling collection event in the Memorial Union Brick Mall for America Recycles Day.

The purpose of the event was to give the opportunity to recycle hard-to-recycle items all in one convenient location, as well as educate people about recycling and waste reduction all year long. Materials collected included Styrofoam, packing peanuts, film plastics, electronics, CDs and DVDs, ink and toner cartridges, household batteries and scrap metal.

Collecting recyclables at the event

Volunteers and staff receive Styrofoam and packing peanuts from the public.

A resource guide was provided that specified where all the recyclables could be taken around town, year-round. Download the handout here.

people attach bottles to the bottle igloo

People attach their pledges in a bottle to the "igloo" frame.

In addition to collecting recycling, passersby and those dropping off material were invited to write a message in a bottle and attach it to our “bottle igloo.” The message was a sustainability pledge: something they would like to do to be more sustainable in their everyday life.


We met our goal of meeting or exceeding last year’s measurements! The volume of plastics (Styrofoam, peanuts and film) is roughly the same as in 2011. The weight of everything else is over twice as much, even when the weight of newly accepted items (ink and toner and scrap metal) is not counted.

Material 2011 Amount 2012 Amount
Styrofoam 5,000 gal 5,321 gal
Packing peanuts 572 gal 250 gal
Film plastic 359 gal 299 gal
Electronics 2,129 lbs 4,609 lbs
CDs & DVDs 358 lbs 91 lbs
Batteries 483 lbs 247 lbs
Ink & toner Not collected 93 lbs
Scrap metal Not collected 218 lbs

In total, we collected nearly 5,300 lbs plus 29 cubic yards of material, in just four hours!

results infographic

The event was planned and staffed by the Waste Watchers, a volunteer team coordinated by Campus Recycling and the Student Sustainability Initiative. The team is now working on monthly Repair Fair events and the event lineup for RecycleMania, a nationwide recycling competition between universities that will be held January 20th through March 30th.

One Response to “America Recycles Day collection event exceeds 2011 results”

  1. Steve says:

    Being in the weighing business we see first hand how recycling works since many groups measure the amount they recycle by the pound. We’re doing a lot now but we have a long way to go. Nice to read about your efforts.