Paper, food container recycling needs new service provider

The unanticipated loss last week of a recycling vendor has facilities planning and management leaders in a jam to find a new vendor while not interrupting several recycling services to campus buildings.

Ames Area Redemption Center, which closed last week, notified FPM on Jan. 27 that its last pickups from campus buildings would be Jan. 30. The east Ames recycling center has provided building pickup of mixed paper, white paper, newspaper and food/beverage containers for Iowa State since July 2013. Mixed paper and food/beverage container recycling became available for the first time on campus because of that contract.

Facilities services director Bob Currie said it's likely Iowa State will rebid this recycling contract, a process that could take up to two months. FPM and purchasing leaders inquired with another ISU vendor about adding this recycling service to its ISU contract, but those discussions ended Wednesday without an agreement.

Cardboard recycling and confidential document destruction are handled by other vendors and are not affected by this change.

Thank you, campus services

On Monday (Feb. 2), campus services crews assumed the recycling pickup schedule for academic buildings. However, this group's duties also include snow removal across campus, and Currie noted that Sunday's 12-inch snowfall has limited the time crews could give to emptying recycling bins this week.

"We're trying to fill this gap with our own staff, so we hope people can be understanding if we miss a building or pick up a day late, particularly if there's more snow," Currie said. Once employees are habitual recyclers, it's critical to avoid any big interruptions to the service, he noted.

Interim plan

Currie said ISU employees should continue to recycle the four categories – mixed paper, white paper, newspaper and food/beverage containers – as they have, using the lidded blue recycling containers in their buildings. In the interim, materials are being mixed, so all recyclables (except cardboard and confidential documents) can be placed in any recycling container, whether it's labeled for that item or not.

Campus services crews will transfer recyclables from building containers to a single Waste Management recycling dumpster on campus. Waste Management will recycle the materials.