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2019 Recycling Resolutions


Still looking for a few resolutions to make in 2019? The programs offered by UT Recycling can help you do that. Here’s a list of resolutions you can easily commit to in 2019 to make this year your greenest yet.

1. Ditch single-use plastics and paper cups.

This year, do the planet and your wallet a favor and bring your own reusable mug or bottle to Vol Dining locations. With our Mug Project, not only do you get a discount that averages to savings of 60 cents or more on most beverages when you bring your own mug, you’re also keeping cups that can’t be recycled out of the landfill.

2. Visit our 24/7 Public Drop-Off.

Even if you’re a dedicated recycler in your residence hall or have curbside recycling through the City of Knoxville, you NEED to visit our free, 24/7 Public Recycling Drop-Off¬†this year. It’s a free resource for the campus community that accepts traditional recycling materials and more. At the drop-off, you can take¬† materials – like plastic bags and film, glass, and batteries – that you cannot recycle at bins around campus. Not to mention, with a new glass container and more bins, the drop-off just got a makeover! Make 2121 Stephenson Drive, dock 24 one of your must-visit locations for 2019.

3. Familiarize yourself with best recycling practices.

One of the things that can be difficult about recycling is that accepted items can vary from place to place. That’s why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with what your local recycling program can and cannot take. At UT, the best place to do that is on our What We Recycle Guide page. There, we’ve listed “yes” items and “no” items for each kind of recyclable material organized by what we can take on campus and what we can take at the drop-off.

4. Only take what you can eat.

Americans waste between 225-290 pounds of food per year, wasting the resources used to produce the food and putting methane-producing organic material straight into the landfill. At dining halls on campus, once food has touched your plate, it must be tossed. Food left on the buffet line, however, can be saved and donated to people facing hunger and food insecurity. This year, join us on our Fresh Plate initiative and commit to taking only what you can eat at dining halls on campus.

5. Bring reusable bags.

We do accept plastic bags and film at our Public Recycling Drop-Off, but the best move for the environment is to do your shopping with reusable bags. As many stores and chains are committing to phasing out plastic bags, get ahead of the game and start using reusable bags this year. UT Recycling often gives out the orange Make Orange Green reusable bags when we table around campus, so follow us on social media @utrecycling to see when and where you might be able to come get one.

6. Buy used or repair old items!

Trying to up your wardrobe game in 2019? Do it the green way. Buying new clothes has a huge environmental impact, but you can save money and the planet when you opt instead for clothes from sellers like thrift stores, clothing exchanges, and UT Recycling’s very own Free Store! When your tech devices get old, see if they can be repaired before you recycle them. Producing an iPhone 6, according to the New York Times, generates the same amount of carbon emissions as running a refrigerator for a year.