All-In-The-Hall Recycling Program

All-In-The-Hall Recycling Program

Abstract image of building facade in black and red. Photo by Craig Chandler

UNL is adopting a new All-In-The-Hall standard based on the success of the Recycling Pilot Project, which was implemented in eight campus buildings in December 2020. Like the pilot project, the new standard will include the installation of standardized waste stations in centralized, high traffic locations throughout campus buildings. The standardized containers are designed to make recycling easier for the UNL community and campus visitors, utilizing image-focused graphics placed near eye level and shape-restrictive openings to cue users regarding accepted materials. Containers will be placed in high traffic areas throughout campus buildings, such as near restrooms and building entrances, to make waste disposal convenient for users. Custodial Services staff will repurpose their time spent collecting landfill waste from private office spaces in campus buildings to focus on servicing all waste streams from the centralized locations, including both landfill and recyclable materials. UNL community members will be asked to monitor the waste they individually produce on campus and transport items to the nearest conveniently located, centralized station.

This phased approach to implementation will occur gradually over the next two-three years, with an initial focus on high-traffic, academic use spaces.

The All-In-The-Hall program has been approved by UNL’s Chancellor and Executive Leadership Team for campus implementation to make progress toward institutional sustainability goals.

Recycling Guide

Download and review the process visualization below to learn more about the process for handling your waste as part of the new All-In-The-Hall standard.

Guide to All In The Hall Recycling at UNL

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Recycling Renovation Pilot Project?

The All-In-The-Hall standard is UNL’s new comprehensive recycling program which will provide a convenient, reliable, and consistent opportunity for the campus community to recycle within campus buildings. Through phased implementation over time, standardized waste stations will be placed throughout campus buildings in high traffic, centralized locations, and all waste items, including landfill and recycling materials, will be serviced regularly by Custodial Services staff. UNL community members will be asked to monitor the waste they individually produce on campus and transport items to the nearest conveniently located, centralized station, as Custodial Services staff will repurpose their time spent collecting landfill waste from private office spaces to focus on servicing all waste streams from the new stations. The All-In-The-Hall recycling program is being implemented campus-wide based on the success of the Recycling Pilot Project, which was launched in eight campus buildings in December 2020. Centralized waste collection programs have been successfully implemented at some of our Big Ten peer and other nation-wide higher education institutions, including the University of Minnesota, University of Iowa, University of Kansas, Duke University, and the University of Tennessee.

What buildings were included in the Recycling Pilot Project?

Eight buildings across UNL’s City and East campuses were initially included in the project, which are listed below.

City Campus:

  • Alexander
  • Andersen Hall
  • Canfield Administration
  • Hamilton Hall
  • Mary Riepma Ross Media Arts Center and Van Brunt Visitors Center

East Campus:

  • Agricultural Hall
  • Filley Hall and Food Industry Complex
  • Hardin Hall

Due to major renovation projects, the project was expanded to include three additional buildings including the Johnny Carson Center for Emerging Media Arts, the Dinsdale Family Learning Commons, and the Nebraska East Union.

Why is implementing this program important?

UNL has not previously established a comprehensive recycling plan for the campus-community to follow, which has led to mismatched containers and locally coordinated recycling programs that are often confusing, inconvenient, and inefficient. Results of a 2019 Office of Sustainability survey showed that over 93% of 9,000 faculty, staff, and students at UNL identify recycling as a priority on campus. The new All-In-The-Hall recycling standard is based on the success of the Recycling Pilot Project and intended to make recycling easier and more efficient at UNL, provide better education for the campus community, and help achieve University-wide sustainability goals of becoming a zero-waste campus by 2030, as outlined in UNL’s 2020 Environment, Sustainability, and Resilience Master Plan. Through phased implementation over time, we expect to increase the amount of materials correctly recycled at UNL and decrease the amount of materials sent to the landfill. Pre-pilot waste audits in each of the pilot buildings revealed that an average 25% of materials found in landfill streams could be recycled instead. Since implementation of the pilot project, this has decreased to 12%! It is expected that empowering the UNL community to monitor and sort their waste items will lead to more mindful consumption and disposal behaviors, reducing contamination and improving recycling rates.

How will the new standard affect me?

As part of the All-In-The-Hall recycling standard, UNL faculty and staff, students, and campus visitors will be asked to monitor the waste they individually produce on campus and transport items to the nearest conveniently located, centralized waste station. Custodial Services staff will repurpose their time previously spent collecting landfill waste from private office spaces to focus on servicing all waste streams from the new stations, including both landfill and recyclable materials. As a member of the UNL community, you are being asked to be mindful about the waste you produce and do your part to help UNL achieve less contamination in our recycling streams and divert more waste from going to the landfill!

Are you taking away my trash can?

Centralized waste stations will replace mismatched, randomly placed recycling and landfill containers (trash cans) in hallways, conference rooms, and classrooms. Landfill containers will remain in restrooms and qualifying laboratory spaces, and they will continue to be serviced by UNL Custodial Services (CS). Currently in use deskside containers will not be taken away (unless otherwise requested), but they will no longer be serviced by CS. If you choose to keep your deskside trash or recycling container, it will be your responsibility to transport its contents to the nearest waste station to sort items for disposal.

I work in a laboratory space on campus, how will this affect me?

Through the collaboration with UNL’s Environmental Health and Safety team during the Recycling Pilot Project, it was determined that labs which meet certain criteria will be unaffected by this change and will continue to have landfill containers regularly serviced by Custodial Services. Landfill receptacles will remain in all laboratory spaces (research and classroom laboratories) where chemicals, biological agents, and/or radioactive materials are used. This will be identified through the presence of hazardous materials or infrastructure to handle such (e.g., fume hood, safety shower, etc.).

Will Custodial Services provide me with plastic liners for my trash can?

UNL Custodial Services (CS) will not provide plastic liners for personal deskside waste containers. If you choose to keep deskside waste containers in your personal work space, it is your responsibility to keep them clean.

Where are the stations located in my building?

Station locations will be determined through conversations with building representatives and Custodial staff to understand traffic patterns. Stations will primarily be located in high traffic areas near restrooms, stairs and elevators, and building entrances to provide convenient locations to dispose of waste items.

What do I do if my nearest station is full?

UNL Custodial Services staff will be closely monitoring stations, to avoid any instance of a full container. Should this happen, please contact the UNL Facilities Service Desk by calling (402) 472-1550.

What items are accepted at the centralized waste stations?

Most waste items commonly produced at UNL are accepted for disposal in the waste stations. Clear, image centric, color-coded graphics are located on top of the stations, providing direction on what is accepted in each stream. The waste stations have four streams- paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and containers, and landfill. Streams have shape-restricted openings to cue users on accepted materials. Corrugated cardboard is also accepted at the stations and should be flattened and placed behind the stations. Items placed in any recycling stream should be clean, dry, and free of food or other non-recyclable waste. Check out our updated Recycling Guide to learn more!

There is not a slot for cardboard in the waste and recycling station. What do I do with cardboard?

Please flatten corrugated cardboard boxes and place them behind the waste station or take them directly to the nearest cardboard dumpster located outside your building. Paperboard items, including soda can and tissue boxes should be placed in the paper recycling stream.

Can pizza boxes be recycled?

Yes! Pizza boxes can be recycled, but must be free of contaminants including solid food residue (leftover pizza) and other waste items including pizza savers (little table), wax paper, sauce containers, etc. Small grease stains are okay. If your pizza boxes meet these criteria, please flatten your boxes and place them behind the waste station or take them directly to the nearest cardboard dumpster. If boxes are contaminated and not acceptable for recycling, they should be taken directly to the trash dumpster outside your building and sent to the landfill.

Will Custodial Staff still provide cleaning service for my office?

Yes, office cleaning service will not be affected by the pilot project. UNL Custodial Services will continue regular office cleaning service, but will no longer provide weekly trash service.

My office has a shredding container for confidential documents? Will you take this away?

There will be no change to shredding processes in pilot buildings. If you have a container for confidential documents, it will remain in place as is.

Don’t see your question listed? Email us at recycling@unl.edu