Sustainability Suggestions & Responses

  • Observed Condition and Suggestion for improvement submitted by anonymous
    In the past, UNM Recycling provided different contains for black only, color, and newsprint recycling; however, recently all paper recycling is being combined at the time of pick up. Doesn't this increase the cost of recycling? Is UNM Recycling Services sorting this content prior to distribution to the recycling center? Does the recycling center separate content or is it all being recycled as the same?

    Reply by Linda McCormick, UNM Resource Conservation Manager
    The person who made the comment is partially correct: we no longer separate white and colored paper. Perhaps 8 months ago I changed the way we collect recyclables and gave a handout to as many customers as I could. The reason is that customers never got the idea of separation very well regardless of training or handouts, etc. My staff were frustrated because I was asking them to separate the paper and then the customer would get frustrated when my staff would ask them to improve their separation. I finally decided that to save frustration all around, minimize time required to separate and work the best way possible with an existing situation: we now allow all paper to be mixed together, except for newspaper and magazines, and send it out as a slightly lower grade of paper. Since we now mix nearly everything together there is no functional difference between blue and yellow tins.

    Newspaper, magazines and bagged shredded paper are the only things that should be separated from the other types of paper. Magazines because they are the lowest grade of paper, newspaper and bagged shred because I still sell them separately. You can still use a white bin for newspapers but frankly, its not really necessary. Just keep them separate in any color bin and the same practice for magazines or bagged shred. Rather than labeling the bins themselves (because my staff may take the bin at the change out) its better to put a sign on the wall where the paper is collected telling people what to put where. I would definitely be a help to me if you could put the word out about these changes.

    Its wonderful to see people thinking about recycling!


  • Observed Condition and Suggestion for improvement submitted by Ron Compher
    Recycling containers in the Break Room are not cleary identified and the wall signage further confuses the correct bin and what material is accepted. Inform employees what items can be recycled in which container in the Break Room. Encourage employees to choose a day every week to recycle their collected items.

    Reply by Sustainability Steering Committee
    Thanks for your suggestion. Your points are well taken. The Committee has worked with Facility Services to see that the bins in the lounge and throughout the building are labeled more clearly. An e-mail reminder will soon be sent to IT folks about what can be recycled here in the building. The Committee is also working on a map of all recycling locations in the building. The Committee encourages everyone to recycle! Set up a weekly reminder in GroupWise, remember to dispose of common items right away (such as empty soda bottles) into recycling bins instead of the trash.


  • Observed Condition and Suggestion for improvement submitted by anonymous
    Send updates for managed computers during lunch hour to avoid having to leave on computers overnight.

    Reply by Sustainability Steering Committee
    IT staff may rest comfortably knowing that for the last few months, updates are being "pushed out" around the lunch hour. Please turn off your computer when you leave work for the day.