Andover Introduces New “Single Stream”? Recycling Process

Students will no longer need to separate their recycling into different cans for dorm duty, as Phillips Academy has gone single stream. Single stream recycling means that instead of separating their recycling based on material, students and faculty can now put all their recycling in one dumpster, according to Jonah Guerin, Sustainability Intern. “The town of Andover has had single stream recycling for the past few years,” said Guerin. “but Andover the campus has only had separated recycling.” Previously, recycling had to be separated and put into rolling cans that would then be rolled to the curb every week. On October 3, all the recycling bins on the West side of Main Street were replaced with single dumpsters. West Quad North, West Quad South and some parts of Abbot cluster got these new blue dumpsters. The bins are expected to be replaced for the rest of campus by Friday. Extra dumpsters are being added near Gelb, Stimpson, Stevens and Watson Ave. to encourage recycling among students. Guerin said this process will help streamline and promote recycling on campus. He felt it would increase efficiency because the recycling company would only need to pick up one bin instead of three. This reduces the amount of gas used by the dumpster trucks as well as the time it takes to pick up the recycling. According to Erin Wong ’13, an environmental proctors in Bancroft, the new single stream process is simpler for those behind the scenes. “It means that there’s no doubt about which bin the recycling goes into.” said Wong. The process will increase recycling because students will not have to bring out the recycling bins separately. In addition, dorms can put out their recycling whenever they want, instead of having to wait for the specific days that the town of Andover does their recycling. These new changes will consolidate the recycling system, making it more efficient. Within dorms, students will still have to separate their recycling into cans, bottles, cardboard and plastic. The process won’t get rid of sorting, but, “When the time comes to take out the recycling, it all goes to the same place.” Said Guerin. According to Wong, this so the mix of cans, bottles, and cardboard don’t look like trash and confuse students. Guerin said, “It reduces the cross-contamination of recycling in trash, or trash in recycling.” Instead, it will all be taken to one communal dumpster. In the dorm, the house counselors will act as the leaders of the project, telling students about the project and how to do it. The proctors or prefects of the dorm will be the enforcers of the system, making sure that the process is followed during dorm duty. Through the company Terracycle, students can now recycle all writing utensils, including pens, pencils, sharpies, dry erase markers and highlighters. For every utensil turned in, the company will give two cents to charity. Students can recycle writing instruments in the terracycle recycling boxes. These boxes are located in GW, various places in the library as well as in many offices and classrooms in Samuel Phillips hall. Sustainability on campus is getting better. “It’s headed for the best. Mr. Guerin [sustainability intern] and Mrs. Russell [sustainability coordinator] have a lot of ideas and can implement them.” The recent Fuess Waste Audit showed that the school needs to work on its recycling habits. According to Guerin, 44% of materials put in the trash dumpster could have been recycled, and 23% of the materials recycled were supposed to be thrown in the trash. In addition, 24% of recycled materials, such as plastic grocery bags, couldn’t be recycled in the dumpsters but instead needed to be recycled at the grocery store.