Help make BCM no. 1 in recycling!

Baylor College of Medicine is a large institute that has the capability to recycle a lot of waste, including cans, bottles, paper, and much more. So it’s surprising to learn from leaders of BCM Recycles! that only about 30 percent of waste generated on campus is recycled. 

But there’s no better time to increase recycling on campus than right now! BCM is competing in RecycleMania, a national recycling event that pits colleges and universities against each other to see which one can recycle the most waste in a variety of categories. The competition runs through March 30, so there’s plenty of time to make BCM no. 1!

It’s not as hard as you might think to win the competition – and to make a difference for the environment! Each person at BCM only has to recycle one pound per day to help BCM be a top 10 winner in RecycleMania. How much is that, exactly?

  • One pound of aluminum  = 35 cans
  • One pound of tip boxes = 8 boxes
  • One pound of plastic bottles = 22 bottles

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And don’t worry, the BCM Recycles! program makes it easy for faculty, staff and students to recycle!

Frank Small is a Facility Services employee who’s devoted to the recycling program. He picks up paper and cardboard from 40 sites across the main BCM building as well as from 11 other BCM affiliated institutions. In addition, there are aluminum and plastic bottle recycling bins in multiple locations, including in room 531D (Jewish Building). Check out all of BCM’s recycling pick-up locations.

BCM RecyclesIf you really want to make a difference, in addition to recycling, consider volunteering for the BCM Recycles! program. It takes only a few hours every quarter…and makes a huge difference!

To get involved or if you have questions about RecycleMania, contact Gabi De la Rosa at 713-798-1051 or grrosa@bcm.edu.

How do you make an effort to recycle? Share ways in which you take time to recycle on campus or at home.

-By Dana Benson

5 thoughts on “Help make BCM no. 1 in recycling!

  1. It would help if all recycling locations accepted all materials. How hard is it to have bins labelled paper,plastic,metal and glass at every location? The paper bins have restrictions about what kinds of paper can be deposited in them. The aluminium receptacles don’t take glass. I am not wasting time travelling corridors looking for just the right type of bin. If there were standardized receptacles next to elevators and trashcans, compliance would probably improve. Currently it’s way harder than it needs to be.

  2. Thank you so much for your support of our recycling program and for the excellent points you raise. We appreciate your taking the time to write. However, as we noted in the blog post, BCM Recycles! is almost 100% volunteer run. As much as we would love to have recycling containers in every hallway or next to every elevator it is just not possible due to the tremendous amount of man power and time that would entail. We have chosen the busiest areas in BCM to place recycling containers and also have containers at many BCM affiliated institutions.

    We do receive many requests for glass pick-up, but at this time our vendor Waste Management does not accept glass from BCM. There are special contamination issues that need to be considered because BCM is a medical institution. BCM Recycles! is always looking for ways to improve our program and make recycling more efficient – we welcome comments and suggestions.

    Gabi Ramirez De la Rosa
    Recycling and Sustainability Coordinator
    grrosa@bcm.edu

    • That would make it all the more important to ensure that the containers which are available are uniform and accept all materials.

  3. Hi Gabi,

    I just want to echo Sriram’s comment and say that all existing recycling locations should be uniform and standardized. I think this helps frame expectations for users and will quicken compliance and adoption.

    Also, it would be good to outline what the “special contamination issues” for glass are here, so that perhaps our intelligent community can offer input/potential solutions.

    Finally, please let us know how to volunteer to help the recycling program, and how much additional participation you feel would be necessary to reach an optimal distribution of recycling bins.

    Thank you for all the solid work to-date,

    Royan
    BCM Alum ’06

    • Royan – thanks for your comments and taking the time to write. I would like to address the issue of volunteers which is key to the success and expansion of our recycling program. BCM Recycles! will need another 10 volunteers (at least) to add more bins and move to daily collection. Volunteers spend about 4 hours one week per quarter collecting and sorting recycling from 8 sites at One Baylor Plaza. We have seen tremendous growth in the past year due to the addition of tip box recycling and we anticipate even more growth as we add Super Site locations in the coming weeks. Super Sites will collect paper/cardboard, aluminum, plastic, tip boxes and trash all at one location. In addition, BCM Recycles! has received a grant which awarded the program 1,500 desk sized recycling bins which should be passed out to the BCM community on or before Earth Day.

      As you can see BCM Recycles! is trying to increase recycling rates and participation on campus, but with these additions comes more work for volunteers. We are very grateful to our volunteers who have stayed committed and kept up with the increase in recycling, but we are always looking for more people. If you or anyone else is interested in volunteering, please contact Gabi De la Rosa at grrosa@bcm.edu or 713-798-1051. Thank you.

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