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Put A Lid On It: Recycling Container Contest

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
July 11, 2007


Furthering its recycling efforts, Campus Planning is sponsoring a contest to see who can come up with a new design for the tops of the collection containers located across campus.

The winner—who will be chosen based on the usefulness and practicality of the lid design as well as the material source—will receive a round-trip train ticket and another yet-to-be determined prize.

Which, of course, won’t compare to the satisfaction of knowing they are helping to keep UNH green and saving the planet at the same time.

A student-driven initiative led to the installation of new outdoor recycling cans, which are standard 20-gallon Rubbermaid containers with retrofitted tops. The problem is, the company doesn’t make a standard blue recycling bin or a lid with a hole that’s small enough for just cans and bottles.

That means trash and other non-recyclable materials end up in the blue-topped bins instead of in trashcans.

Since February, when the containers began showing up on campus, recycling compliance has been at about 80 percent. Changing the top of the can is one more way proponents hope to push that number up even more.

So, the call is being put out to engineers, designers, faculty, staff and students to craft a collar that will fit inside the lid and narrow the throat of the receptacle so it will accommodate only cans and bottles.

The design should be functional, affordable, capable of being inserted or retrofitted in the existing lids and, small enough to decrease the amount of trash being thrown away in recycling containers.

The goal is two-fold: to increase recycling rates while decreasing trash.

Send ideas to: Stephen T. Pesci, special projects director, Campus Planning, Ritzman Laboratory 22 Colovos Road, or email spesci@unh.edu or www.unh.edu/facilities.



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