Winthrop University: Office of Sustainability - Recycling - Frequently Asked Questions
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Contact Information
Office of Sustainability
349 Columbia Avenue
Rock Hill, SC 29733
803/323-4295 (Fax)

Office of Sustainability


Frequently Asked Questions

Did you know?

  • About 125 recycled aluminum cans save enough energy required to supply power to one home for one day.
  • A glass bottle takes approximately 1 million years to decompose in a landfill.
  • A recycled glass bottle can save enough energy to run a computer for 25 minutes.
  • Each ton of recycled mixed paper can conserve energy equivalent to around 185 gallons of gasoline.
  • It is estimated that every person creates around 4.7 pounds of waste every day.
  • Recycling aluminum preserves enough energy required to run a 100-watt bulb for 20 hours, a computer for 3 hours, or a TV for 2 hours. 
  • Recycling is a multi-billion dollar industry employing millions of people.
  • The annual national recycling rate of 34.7% saves nearly 229 million barrels of oil and avoids emissions equivalent to removing more than 34 million cars from the road each year. 

Does Winthrop purchase "green" products?

Yes. Winthrop University has approved a Sustainable Procurement Policy. The purpose of the policy is to support the statewide Green Purchasing Initiative per the SC Senate Bill 1497 by purchasing products that minimize the harmful effects of their use and final disposition upon the environment. Winthrop University recognizes that the purchasing decisions of our employees can make a difference in favor of environmental quality. We prefer the purchase of environmentally preferable products whenever they perform satisfactorily and are available at a reasonable price.

Prior to approving the Sustainable Procurement Policy, Winthrop purchased paper products (office and otherwise) with recycled content, use furniture vendors who include recycled content in their products, and use low volatile organic compound (VOC) paint.

How are the residence halls doing their part to be more sustainable?

Residence Life sponsors three residence hall floors as Environmental Issues Academic Success Communities; provides recycling bins in every student room; provides recycling stations in every lobby or designated trash areas in the residence halls; participates in RecycleMania, a national recycling competition; encourages Resident Assistants do programming on sustainable issues; and, has developed and implemented on-line procedures to eliminate departmental forms and files on student and operational issues.

How can I reduce the amount of paper I use on campus?

In general, think before you print. Do not print email unless necessary; print on both sides of paper (pdf - 152 KB); communicate through email instead of paper memos; use the Web page for class administration purposes; and, have assignments submitted electronically where possible. Many forms on campus are now being converted to electronic submissions.

How do I stop junk mail?

One available source available is DMAchoice, an online tool developed by the Direct Marketing Association to help you manage your mail. The DMAchoice Web site will get you started reducing junk mail you receive in you mailbox.

Another source available is TrustediD, a mail preference service. Visit the TrustediD Web site to get started.

What are the six "R's" of recycling?

  • Recycle only after other options are not viable.
  • Reduce the number of items purchased - especially if the items are quick impulse purchases.
  • Refuse to use or purchase items that are not useful both in the short-term and long-term.
  • Repair items if they are torn or broken.
  • Re-think how choices are made and question what the impacts are to social welfare, ecological integrity, and economic vitality during the product's life cycle.
  • Reuse items that can be sold again or used in some other way without changing the form of the item.

What can I recycle on campus?

In general, you can recycle mixed office paper, newspaper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles, plastic grocery bags, corrugated cardboard, printer cartridges, batteries, light bulbs, and office electronics. It is okay to recycle sticky notes as well as paper with paper clips and staples. Special recycling collection efforts are also done during move-in and move-out from the residence halls.

Visit the Recycling or Facilities & Operations pages for more current recycling information.

If you have any additional questions or concerns, please call the Recycling Coordinator, Tim Hill at 803/323-2318 or the Sustainability Coordinator, Chris Johnson at 803/323-2389.

What happened to the corrugated cardboard recycling bins that disappeared during move-in near the residence halls?

Extra bins are brought to campus during move-in to collect a rather large influx of corrugated cardboard. Permanent locations are located at Thomson Cafeteria, Dinkins, Sims, and McBryde Hall.

Where do I recycle materials on campus?

Locations of collection bins vary from building to building. If you don't find what you are looking for contact the Sustainability Coordinator, Chris Johnson at 803/323-2389.

Why is recycling important?

Recycling offers many benefits for evolving towards advancing economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare.  Here are some examples:

  • Job Creation
  • Preserving wildlife & habitat
  • Reducing air and water pollution linked to decomposing waste
  • Reducing GHG emissions
  • Saving energy & natural resources - less energy is required to process recycled waste than to use virgin natural resources
  • Saving money and land space - recycling our waste is less expensive when compared to creating and operating new landfills

This image is of items discarded by Winthrop students during move out at the end of the 2011/12 academic year. Much of this "trash" could have been recycled or donated. What else do you notice about the "trash" that was discarded?

Recycling - Winthrop Moveout

What can I do to reduce my waste?

  • Copy all documents front and back.
  • Create personal online folders instead of printing and filing all correspondences.
  • Notify vendors who send each of us the same catalog to send only on publication to one designated staff member.
  • Purchase office supplies with high recycled content when available and products that meet quality standards. Please refer to the Sustainable Procurement Policy.
  • Recycle all materials that can be recycled.
  • Reuse one-sided paper on personal printers.
  • Share magazine and journal subscriptions within department.
  • Use reusable water bottles or cups in place of disposable water bottles or cups.
  • Whenever possible, avoid using paper, plastic, plastic utensils, and styrene plates for office celebrations.
  • Whenever possible, use re-usable plates, utensils, and mugs for office celebrations.

What can I recycle at home if I live in Rock Hill or York County?

Recycling processes are different depending on where you live.  Click here for information about recycling in Rock Hill and York County.  


























Last Updated: 10/23/19