News Items from UNC Greensboro

The Office of Sustainability, with the assistance and guidance of the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, is launching a plastic bottle cap recycling program. The launch of this program coordinates with the uuiversity’s participation in the national recycling competition RecycleMania. This is UNCG’s second year participating in RecycleMania. This year Greek organizations will be leading activities to promote recycling on campus.

Birds, sea turtles, fish and sea mammals often mistake these colorful pieces of plastic for food, resulting in death of the animal. In some cases this is a source of chemicals found in plastic being introduced to the food chain. Increasing UNCG’s recycling efforts is another step for the university in global responsibility.

Until the implementation of this program all plastic bottle caps were sent to the landfill. Plastic bottle caps present significant danger to delicate ecosystems. Plastic bottles caps are made of polypropylene, commonly referred to as “number 5” plastics. This is commonly used in dairy and deli food packaging. What a city accepts is largely dependent on the market demand for the product can be turned into after it is recycled. Number 5 plastics are not currently accepted by City of Greensboro recycling program.

Bottle caps will be delivered by the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling to New Life Plastic once or twice per year, along with other irregular plastics such as CD jewel cases. This is a large scale facility that specialized in plastics not commonly accepted by municipal recycling programs.

The program will begin with 12 locations on campus. Student employees from the Office of Sustainability will pick up the caps twice each month.

Bottle cap locations are:

  • North Spencer – kitchen
  • South Spencer – kitchen
  • Music Building – first floor by the recycling bins
  • Campus Rec – break room
  • Studio Arts – second floor lounge (203)
  • Sink Building – break room
  • Weatherspoon Art Museum – kitchen
  • Mossman – first floor by the recycling bins
  • Housing and Residence Life – mail room

By Jessica Trotman

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