Georgia State University supports single-stream recycling, which means that paper, cardboard, metal and plastic products can be mixed together into any recycling bin on all campuses.
Through a partnership with the Facilities Department, recycling is collected by custodial staff each day on all Perimeter campuses.
An important note on Georgia State recycling after China’s ban on foreign waste (as of July 6, 2018):
This past January, China officially implemented a ban on imports of various waste materials originating from countries around the world including the United States. China’s ban has raised concerns from citizens in cities across the country about whether their recycling will actually be recycled or end up in the landfill. In order to address this concern, Georgia State’s Sustainability Initiatives office reached out to Karen Wilson, senior account manager at Caraustar, Georgia State’s recycling material recovery facility (MRF) for a Q&A.
Here is what Karen had to say:
Why did China’s ban on imported waste materials originate and what does it entail?
China wants cleaner air and water for their citizens. As a result, they have put into effect strict quality regulations for any imports on recycled goods. They no longer want to be “dumping grounds” for other countries.
Since the implementation of China’s ban on imported plastic waste and other materials,what are your thoughts on if or how China’s plastic waste ban will affect the recycling industry (regarding price and refuse)?
So far, OCC & MIX paper pricing has been affected. Within time, these materials will see movement into other countries. Pricing will level out within time, as supply and demand get leveled out.
Due to what some are calling the “recycling crisis”, some recycling haulers are sending recycling refuse to landfills, is this the case with Caraustar?
Never. Caraustar is a 100% recycled paperboard manufacturer. We need all recycled fibers to supply our paper mills to make our end products. Our end products are 100 % recycled.
Given your work in the recycling industry, has the recycling industry experienced changes? If so, how has recycling changed over the past 10 years (regarding the amount collected and the price of the commodity)?
The recycling industry is constantly changing as it is based on supply and demand. Pricing is low in the U.S. for cardboard and mixed paper grades. Supply is greater than demand in the U.S. right now on cardboard and mixed paper due to decreased shipments to China from strict quality restrictions.
How has recycling at Georgia State University changed over the past 5 years (regarding amount collected)?
Volume has steadily increased since 2014. 2014: 20 tpm (tons per month). 2015- 25 tpm. 2016 & 2017– 35 tpm
What can students, faculty and staff do to ensure our recycling ends up in the right place?
Stay up-to-date with Georgia State’s educational recycling signage or follow @GSUgreen on Facebook for campus recycling news and updates. Despite China’s ban on foreign recyclable materials, the Georgia State community can rest assured their recycling efforts will not be in vain.