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Have A Sustainable New Year: Recycle!

Recycling is a simple practice that can help the environment in so many ways! Not only does it divert waste from the landfill, it helps to conserve energy and resources. There are a lot of ways to recycle around campus and we hope with these ideas you can get involved with reusing and recycling!

The Mug Project

  • An initiative that is taking off is “The Mug Project” that highlights the importance of using reusable mugs. Each day UT students use an average of 3,225 paper cups and none of those are recyclable!
  • If you bring your own reusable mug to any dining location on campus you will receive fountain drinks and drip coffee for $1.19 and 15% of special coffee drinks. Not only is this initiative easy on your wallet, it is easy on the planet!


  • RecycleMania is a competition between nearly 200 different campus and colleges across the country. Schools are ranked against each other based on recycling, composting, and landfill data in addition to the number of people who get involved with programs.
  • To encourage participation with this program, UT Recycling also holds a competition between the residence halls to see who can recycle the most!
  • View the RecycleMania event schedule here

My Tiny Trash

  • An initiative that has really made a difference on our campus has been “My Tiny Trash” Essentially the program prioritizes recycling by giving office staff a blue recycling bin that can now be used for clean plastic, aluminum and steel cans, and cardboard, as well as paper.
  • Instead of a large trash can, staff receive a three-quart Tiny Trash bin attached on the side: that’s where people can put tissues, wrappers, foil and more. This program has increased the recycling rate in the Facilities Services building to 66%, way to go!

Recycling on Campus

  • Recycling on campus is so easy with the help of UT Recycling! You will find recycling in all common areas of our campus. UT Recycling takes paper, cans, plastic, and cardboard most commonly on campus in their bins.
  • In 2018 alone UT Recycling diverted over 2900 tons of material from the landfill. That’s amazing!

Water Refill Stations

  • Another simple way to reduce your single-use plastics is to bring a reusable water bottle with you! We have a ton of filtered water stations in each building on campus so you can refill with ease while you head to class.
  • This project was funded by the Student Green Fee, a fee voted by the SGA Senate back in 2005 that helps promote environmentally friendly projects. We love to hear from students about what they think the Green Fee should fund next, so make sure to check back and see when the next meeting is!

Recycling off Campus

  • If you happen to live off campus, no worries! Recycling is still offered to you through UT Recycling’s 24/7 Public Recycling Drop-Off! You can head over to 2121 Stephenson Drive Dock 24 and bring your collected items to be recycled.
  • Accepted at the public drop off is cardboard, paper, plastic, glass, cans, and E-Waste. If you have any questions about what is accepted at the drop-off you can email UT Recycling at or call (865) 974-3480.

There are tons of reasons you should help us partake in the events and campaigns above. Still not convinced?
Check out these recycling facts below:

  1. If every American recycled just one-tenth of their newspapers, we could save about 25 million trees each year.
  2. The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50,000,000 homes for 20 years.
  3. Recycling just 1 ton of aluminum cans conserves the equivalent of 1,665 gallons of gasoline.
  4. Recycling one ton of plastic bottles saves the equivalent energy usage of a two person household for one year.

Additional information can be found at UT Recycling Website. With these ideas in mind, let’s make 2019 the most recycled yet!