Moravian College and Alvin H. Butz, Inc., construction manager of the new Hurd Integrated Living and Learning facility, recycled 255 tons of construction waste over the past year, keeping it out of landfills. But that's not all Moravian recycles, says Harold "Andy" Anderson, associate director of plant services: "People usually are surprised by how much we recycle—much of it behind the scenes."

In 2005, the College received a "Green Ribbon Award" from the City of Bethlehem for its large and consistent contributions of paper, cardboard, yard waste, and other recyclables to Bethlehem's Theis-Cornfeld Recycling Center. Having just one College employee allocated (half-time) to recycling makes the accomplishment all the more noteworthy. To encourage and explain recycling at Moravian, Andy Anderson provided these answers to several frequently-asked questions:

What kinds of waste does Moravian recycle? 

  • In residence halls: green, clear, and brown glass, numbers 1 through 7 plastics, all cans
  • In the HUB and PPHAC: green, clear, and brown glass; numbers 1 - 7 plastics; all cans; newspaper and office paper 
  • In academic and office areas (such as Collier Hall of Science, Colonial Hall): paper only
  • By facilities and maintenance: cardboard, large batteries, used motor oil, all fluorescent lights, all Freon, scrap metal (such as furniture and appliances), all lamp ballasts, all yard waste

What about food waste?
No–we looked at it, but it's too difficult and time-consuming for our limited staff to handle. Food waste should not be added to the recycling containers in the HUB; when that happens, the entire contents of the bin becomes trash, and cannot be recycled.

How are the recyclable materials handled?
Inside residence halls, the materials are commingled in bins, which work-study students collect and transfer to larger 90-gallon containers outside. A contract provider, Cougle's Recycling, Inc., picks up these recyclables every Friday. Last year (2008), Cougle collected 39.5 tons of co-mingled recyclables from Moravian College, according to their report.

Most of the rest of the recycling is handled by Brian Smith, a facilities employee. Brian collects paper from academic and office buildings on a rotational basis, generally once a week. He also breaks down all cardboard boxes and packaging. He takes cardboard, paper (including paper for shredding), and other materials to the Bethlehem drop-off site four times per day, on average.

How can I find a recycling bin in my building? There is no master map currently, but we hope to have something to post on AMOS and/or inside each building by the start of the fall semester.

Why aren't there more bins for plastics and cans around campus? Simply put, we lack the funds to do more at this time. The outdoor bins are costly, up to $900 each. And adding more bins would increase the workload beyond what one person can handle. We are looking into adding bins sponsored by a vendor, such as Pepsi. Recycling is not free. Recycling a single 4-foot fluorescent tube, for instance, costs 24 cents—you can imagine how many of these alone the College goes through in a year. There is also a fee to recycle oil, ballasts, and Freon.