Emory Recycles began in 1990 with a group of librarians who began to collect and recycle white paper. With increased enthusiasm and support from students, the recycling program was expanded first to the residence halls and then to the academic buildings, labs, clinics and offices. In 1998, Emory built a Material Recovery Facility on campus that stores and bales collections of white paper, mixed paper, aluminum, scrap metal, plastic, glass, food waste, wood waste, C&D waste, and cardboard.
Today, Emory Recycles provides a source separated recycling program for all Emory University academic buildings, residence halls, labs, clinics and offices; provides food waste collections for composting at the two main cafeterias on campus and several campus buildings; handles composting of animal bedding from Division of Animal Resources; and collects organic waste from the FM Grounds Department for composting.
Last year alone, the program was able to divert 90% percent of the University’s waste from the landfill. This includes C&D from Capital Projects. Excluding C&D from Captial Projects, the University diverted 35% of waste from the landfill.
Emory has identified sustainability as a top priority of the University and is committed to an overall goal of diverting 65 percent of its waste from the landfills by 2015 through waste reduction education, a source separated commodity collection and a campus composting program.
Emory Recycles has experienced a steady increase in waste tonnage recycled and a steady decrease in waste tonnage landfilled over the last five years. In fiscal year 2010-2011, the program recovered 2681 tons of material, landfilled 5806 tons of waste for a diversion rate of 32%*. This past fiscal year, 2053 tons of waste was recovered, only 3803 tons of waste was landfilled for a diversion rate of 35%*. With the continued growth in the composting program, Emory Recycles is confident it will reach the University's 65% waste diversion goal by 2015
(*these numbers do not include recovered tonnage or landfilled waste from Capital Projects)