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Press Release for Wednesday, October 29, 2008

UNF Hosts Garbage on the Green Event

Contact: Joanna Norris, Assistant Director
Department of Media Relations and Events
(904) 620-2102

The University of North Florida will reveal the garbage it throws away on the campus Green, the grassy area located in front of the Fine Arts Center, between 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., on Wednesday, Nov. 19, in the University’s second trash and recycling audit.

Volunteers will get down and dirty, sorting, measuring and cataloguing waste. The event kicks off with an early morning cleanup of litter on campus, beginning at 7:30 a.m. Organizations are being invited to participate with demonstrations and interactive booths that provide education on environmental issues and some will be accepting donations for reuse. There will be food and entertainment, including sculpture made from recycled materials. This event is free and open to the public.

The University-sponsored event is aimed at educating students, faculty and staff about ways to reduce campus trash through recycling and litter-prevention practices. Among the goals of the campus master plan is to include opportunities to integrate more waste reduction practices on campus as the University continues to increase its student population and to preserve its natural areas.

“Garbage on the Green is a great chance for our campus community to get a clear picture of how much trash we throw away and how much of it can be recycled,” said Dr. Radha Pyati, environmental chemist and director of the UNF Environmental Center. “We think that picture will motivate students, faculty and staff to reduce and recycle garbage at higher rates.”

A waste audit is a systematic study of trash we throw away. Information collected during the waste audit will be analyzed to help determine best practices to improve waste reduction programs and recover resources that would normally go to the landfill.

In the past year, UNF created a new Recycle and Refuse Department, renovated the campus waste management system and expanded the campus recycling program. The new waste management system replaced centrally located, top-load dumpsters with compactors around the campus perimeter. Electric carts were also replaced with a larger, more flexible trailer system for hauling waste to the compactors, and high-use trash receptacles were replaced with mini-compactors on the core of campus.

These changes have created a more efficient use of staff time, reduced handling of waste, and removed large, trash-hauling trucks from high-traffic areas on campus. Hundreds of new trash and recycling receptacles have been placed indoors and outdoors to encourage greater participation in recycling by the campus population.

UNF publicizes and transfers to other departments when equipment/furniture is no longer needed and currently recycles:
• Mixed paper (folders, magazines, newsprint, books)—312,982 pounds last fiscal year 2007-2008
• Cardboard—196,900 pounds last fiscal year 2007-2008
• Plastic bottles
• Aluminum cans
• Scrap metal—53,894 pounds last fiscal year 2007-2008
• Tires
• Most printer cartridges
• Automotive types of batteries
• Rechargeable batteries from emergency/exit lights
• Wood pallets

Garbage on the Green is supported by Southland Waste & Recycling Systems, CSX, UNF Environmental Center, HealthyWay Café, City of Jacksonville/Keep Jacksonville Beautiful, UNF Office of Administration and Finance and UNF Physical Facilities.

To volunteer, participate or for more information about this event, contact April Moore, UNF Environmental Center, at (904) 620-2662 or by e-mail at