Reuse - Get Creative to Prevent Waste
Repurposing products is a great way to help reduce the volume of waste that goes into our landfills. At UC Merced, quite a bit of interesting stuff goes through our waste stream! We try to salvage as much as possible, and items we have restored have been used for our projects as well as in collaborations with campus clubs.
Reuse Around Campus
The campus needed a place where cardboard could be separated. Using old pallets to make bins gave us sturdy cardboard holders! Several discarded old pop-up tents were only slightly broken. We repaired them and now use them for our own events. We also constructed banner stands out of diverted waste material.
A few projects have also taken place near Facilities. Before buliding the Half Dome residence hall, a construction company needed to test different types of concrete. Normally, workers would destroy the concrete pads making their choice.
Fortunately, we got a hold of the construction crew just in time! We asked them to pour concrete near our work station, so we now have an area for sorting recycling and other projects. It is also a great place to put our shed. The shed had been discarded, but we made a few repairs and now it is as good as new!
We use recycled materials to make new signs. At the top of campus near Facilities, we have large recepticles for various recycleable materials. We made signs for each bin by cutting up old street signs and vinyl labels. The signs are very durable and almost compeltely weatherproof.
The Campus Purchasing division works to collect surplus property so items can be reused instead of thrown away. Staff members there also organize the office-supply-exchange program, saving money across all departments and helping reduce the amount of waste we send to the landfill. UC Merced participates in a toner recycling program. We can send empty toner cartridges to be recycled or refilled.