Duke University, NC Waste Management Strategy
Status: Launched in 1989
In 1989, a group of students took on the task of recycling at Duke University. They began with four pickup locations, seven collection items and one truck. Today, Duke Recycles services over 800 locations containing 1900 bins per week, and collects 17 different items for recycling.
Duke Recycles has become a necessary campus operation, with a staff of five full-time recyclers and several part-time student staff. This diverse team allows the Duke Recycles program to maintain its roots as a student-involved environmental organization.
Each year, Duke Recycles strives to collect as much recyclable material from the university waste stream as possible in the most efficient and economic manner possible. Many recent initiatives within the Duke Recycles operation have allowed this program to grow, while maintaining superior customer service and productivity. Centralized pickup sites, active participation by staff members and students, and redesigned pickup routes have helped the staff of Duke Recycles more effectively process the increasing amounts of recyclable materials received each day.
In addition to recycling collection, Duke Recycles sponsors numerous community and environmental outreach programs each year, including Earth Month, Recycle for the Children, Move Out for Charity and educational seminars for incoming students and staff. Duke Recycles has received many awards for its service and community outreach events, including the Carolina Recycling Association Outstanding Collegiate Program award and Durham's Innovative Ventures Encouraging the Reduction of Trash award. Duke Recycles actively participates in the Facilities Management Department's Environmental Management Advisory Committee.