Zero Sort Recycling sticker

Hartwick’s New Recycling Program Innovates for Environment

March 9, 2011

With the switch to a new waste-management contractor in February, Hartwick College became one of the first institutions in the region to embrace Zero Sort Recycling. According to College officials, the simplified system now in place with Casella Waste Management is already reaping benefits.

"In the month of February alone, we doubled our recycling tonnage," said Joe Mack, Aramark Facilities Director. "Environmental responsibility has been Aramark's directive ever since I've been involved with them, and this is a great partnership between Aramark and Hartwick as we move toward our goal of sustainable living."

Zero Sort Recycling is much like it sounds. All manner of recyclable material may now be placed, without sorting, on the recycling side of the new dumpsters on Hartwick's campus.

"Plastic, paper, metal, tin, glass, cardboard--even clean pizza boxes--can all go in one bin, and the contents of that bin then go into the recycling side of the  dumpsters," explained Brian Hagenbuch, Director of the Pine Lake Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Studies.

"What that means is we're greatly increasing the amount of recyclable materials that can be reused and turned into new products. It's also going to greatly reduce the amount of solid waste that gets sent to the landfill."

Watch a video explaining the Zero Sort Recycling process.

The Pine Lake Institute is planning outreach events--including a recycling bin decorating contest--this spring to spread the word about the new program. Details will be announced soon.

"Recycling really doesn't get any easier," Hagenbuch noted.

While Zero Sort Recycling places Hartwick among the regional leaders in recycling initiatives, Mack is aiming even higher.

"My goal is to tip the scale in the other direction," he said, "to recycle more than we throw away."

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Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick's expansive curriculum emphasizes a uniquely experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a unique January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor's Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact: Christopher Lott
Phone: 607-431-4030