Expanded Recycling Process Arrives On Campus

Learning Commons Partners With TerraCycle


Mackenzie Hammack

The new recycling program in the Forrer Learning Commons allows for a greater selection of plastic items to be collected.

Mackenzie Hammack, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – On the second floor of the Forrer Learning Commons, across from the staircase in FLC 206, is the FLC’s new recycling program. Previously only available for K-cups, this year the program is publicly available and able to recycle more materials through TerraCycle. 

TerraCycle partners with businesses to collect and recycle specialty materials.

Items recyclable through standard municipality recycling include plastic, metal cans, and glass, but there are rules on what can and cannot be recycled. Different types of plastics are numbered, and only plastics #1, #2, #4, and #5 are typically able to be recycled. 

The program in the FLC helps to expand what items students can recycle by offering recycling for items that typically cannot be recycled. For example, rigid cups made with #6 plastic, a group that includes Solo and other disposable cup brands, are able to be recycled through the new program. 

Other items that can be recycled include toothbrushes, phone cases, disposable razors, glue sticks, various types of product packaging, and more. The FLC is able to recycle these materials because of TerraCycle. 

With the example above, TerraCycle partners with the company Solo to recycle these cups by melting them so they can be reformed into something new. In addition to TerraCycle, the FLC uses K-Cycle by Keurig to recycle K-cups.

For the FLC, this process involves ensuring the recycling center has a box for each recycling category offered. Once these boxes are full, they are weighed, a shipping label is downloaded from TerraCycle, and the boxes are sent off. 

For students, this process involves checking online to see what is recyclable, following any extra instructions (emptying containers, letting items dry out, etc.), and dropping items off in the appropriate box.

Students wishing to get involved in the program beyond just recycling, Operations Assistant Angela Flage, who runs the recycling program, suggests students spread the word about the recycling program, inform people on what is able to be recycled, and to make recycling fun by turning it into a competition between friends. 

Additionally, to make recycling more convenient, Flage encourages students to set up a collection station in their dorm and to take turns delivering items to the FLC.

“I think it’s a really great idea, and I’m really glad something like that is coming to Bridgewater because it needs to be here. We go through a lot of recyclable stuff,” said senior Jordan Bennett, a  member of the environmental science club. 

Information on what the FLC is able to recycle, how to recycle each item, and more can be found on the Sustainability Efforts section of the FLC’s website. 

“I tried to make sure that everything a student could need is on our sustainability page, but I’m always open to questions,” said Flage. 

Flage added that these questions can include details about the program or more. Additionally, Flage encourages people to reach out if they are aware of more community resources that are not listed on the website. 

Flage’s contact information is available on the Sustainability Efforts page, and her office is located in FLC 207.