CLEMSON — Clemson University is taking recycling to a new level this semester thanks to a grant of the bins from Alcoa, the College and University Recycling Coalition and Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s largest volunteer-based community action and education organization.

The grant provides more than 7,000 recycling bins for offices, classrooms and residence halls, making it easier for students, faculty and staff to recycle paper, plastic and cans. The bins are worth about $49,000.

Each office will receive a bin for paper and a mini trash bin for non-recyclable waste. In the residence halls, students can use the bins for paper, cardboard, glass, plastic and aluminum. Trash cans will be removed from classrooms and recycling stations will be placed in convenient locations in the hallways.

Clemson’s current recycling rate is 22.5 percent, but Tom Jones, director of custodial and recycling services, hopes the new program will increase that number to between 35 and 40 percent.

“The focus here is a shift of thought in what is waste. In the past, waste has been thought of as garbage and you separate the recyclables from that,” Jones said. “But most waste now is recyclable, so let’s take the garbage out of the recyclables, rather than the other way around. It’s a paradigm shift.”

Jones said the new program is aimed at making recycling more convenient for everyone on campus.

“If you make recycling more convenient more people will do it. We want to make it easier to recycle something than to throw it in the garbage,” he said.

The bins are now in place in the majority of residence halls and are being distributed to office and classroom buildings this semester. Sikes, Brackett, Sirrine and Lehotsky halls, as well as the R.M. Cooper Library, all have the new bins in place.

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