Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Week 9 Featured Journal Entries

This week's featured entries come from Zoe Doss, Kendall Jent, Sarah Martynowski, and Allen McPherson.

Week 9 Journal Prompt

In 2010, UC implemented the All Recycling program. Investigate this program. Find at least four secondary sources that provide information about the program and the 2010 switch. (Secondary sources include press releases, websites, news articles, policy documents, and similar resources. Talk to me if you have questions about whether a resource is a secondary source.) Also talk to at least two individuals who were involved in the program’s implementation. These individuals can include UC’s sustainability coordinator and staff at UC Facilities Management, but they also can include office staff in various UC departments and UC faculty members. These latter individuals are responsible for emptying their desk-side recycling containers into nearby All Recycling containers. You also may interview students who were on campus when the university switched to All Recycling, since the program’s implementation required students to know about and use the new recycling containers.

Implementation questions you may investigate, both when analyzing secondary sources and in interviews, may include: How widely available are All Recycling bins? Do staff and faculty members know that they are supposed to use them? Do students? Do people appear to understand what they can and cannot put in the bins? Is the program an improvement over previous recycling efforts? If so, how and why? If not, why not? Use what you have learned about U.S. environmental policy implementation to inform your analysis of the UC program. Document your findings in a 6–12 paragraph narrative. Cite your secondary and primary (interview) sources per the citation guidelines noted at the beginning of this document.

Zoe's Week 9 Journal Entry
Recycling began at UC in 1991, and it has come a long way since then (Sweigart). Yesterday I interviewed two people on this topic: Claire Sweigart and Marli Morris. Claire is the director for UC Sustainability, and Marli, a senior, is the co-president of Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection (LEAP), a student group on campus.

Before 2008, there were only spotty pilot recycling efforts in residence halls (Morris). There were some efforts to ramp up recycling after the university signed the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve sustainability ("Sustainability Committee"). In 2010, 534 UC students signed a petition to increase recycling at the University of Cincinnati main and satellite campuses. When UC implemented All Recycling that year, the major goals of the petition had been met and it was ended (Care2). That year, 2010 UC recycled 4,600 tons, a 23% increase from 2009 ("Recycling Grows at UC--By Tons at a Time").

The All Recycling program now provides recycling bins in every building on campus (Sweigart). Marli said: "I am able to dispose of my recycling almost everywhere I would find a trash can." The university also partners with the Cincinnati Zoo to offer collection boxes cell phone recycling on the main, Blue Ash, and Clermont campuses ("Eco-Cell Recycling"). In addition UC offers contact information for disposing of more unusual recyclables not accepted in the All Recycling bins ("Recycling and Waste").

Even with bins in every building, not having trash and recycling bins always together is an issue, because "people just throw trash in the nearest receptacle" (Sweigart). Both Sweigart and Morris said that while student and faculty knowledge is often high, the problem is "that people know, but don't care" (Morris). In offices and residence halls, individuals have to empty their personal bins into the larger bins in trash rooms, and the extra effort often does not happen (Sweigart).

Marli cited the hiring of UC Sustainability student advocates, who work to recycle at sporting and other special events, as a major increase in the recycling success. There is also the Recyclemania competition that UC has participated in for the past several years (Morris). Anyone can request that recycling be provided at their special event ("Recycling and Waste").

Overall, driven by the university's sustainability committees, the University of Cincinnati has made huge strides from its initial site-specific recycling. It has really made the effort to accept as many recyclables as possible. Knowledge of people on campus isn't too much of a problem--but in the future we should try to devise efforts to increase motivation to actually recycle, perhaps by giving people information not just on what is recyclable, but about the negative consequences when waste is not diverted from landfills. While having trash and recycling bins together also seems important, motivation may be the bigger problem.

Care2. “Expand UC’s Recycling Program!” February 1, 2010. Accessed March 8, 2013.

Morris, Marli. Interview by Zoe Doss. Personal interview via email. March 7, 2013.

Sweigart, Claire. Interview by Zoe Doss. Personal interview via email. March 7, 2013.

University of Cincinnati Planning + Design + Construction. “Eco-Cell Recycling.” 2012. Accessed March 8, 2013.

University of Cincinnati Planning + Design + Construction. “Recycling and Waste.” 2012. Accessed March 8, 2013.

University of Cincinnati Planning + Design + Construction. “Sustainability Committee.” 2011. March 8, 2013.

University of Cincinnati. “Recycling Grows at UC--by Tons at a Time.” April 4, 2011. Accessed March 8, 2013.

Kendall's Week 9 Journal Entry

All Recycling Program 

Recycling Go or No
The University of Cincinnati in 2010, switched to the All Recycling Program, in an attempt to prompt recycling changes campus wide. Although the number of recyclables increased dramatically, did it have the impact that it was meant to, and was it easier for students to participate in than previous recycling attempts? I wanted to look into whether or not this program makes an impact, based on total recycled numbers, and from a student’s perspective on how they engage in recycling and if the program changed their attitudes about recycling. 

If we want to look at recycling strictly by the numbers then UC’s new All Recycling Program has more than doubled it’s totaled recycled tons before and after implementation. According to numbers provided by the University of Cincinnati’s website, total recycled material grew from 5.4 tons to 10.2 tons between 2009 and 2011 ("Bearcat Recyclin”). According to the page this was due in large part to the number of places that recycling became available. During the 09-10 school year, recycling was only available at six football games, and three special events. A year later after the All Recycling Program had been launched, recycling was available at fifty nine athletic events and eleven special events. These numbers show us that clearly, through sheer, available events, and the All Recycling Programs, recycling has increased by tons, literally.

The All Recycling Program, described on it’s webpage as a “commingle recycling program” that provides a greater opportunity for students, staff and visitors to participate in recycling a broader range of materials” ("Recycling @UC" ). The program is designed to educate students about what can be recycled and try to actively engage them. A downloadable list describes what students and faculty can recycle from pizza boxes to steel cans, and can’t recycle such as dairy tubs or produce("Announcing: All Recycling" ). This program was meant to both engage the students and create goals for UC’s recycling for now and the future. As reported in an UC news article, “Rick Wiggins, director of UC Facilities Management, UC currently diverts 65 percent of its waste stream into recycling, with the goal of taking that figure to 70 percent by 2019” (Reilly ). So we know that the program is creating changes for recycling but does it really have a lasting effect on students?

I asked two students about their recycling habits and if the change in recycling programs helped encouraged these habits. The first student Brandon Addis, was a freshman during the 09-10 recycling change, and is now a senior. He described his recycling before the event as little to none, and didn’t see any change even after the recycling program. “I see more bins to recycle in, but they’re often out of the way and I’m not exactly sure what to recycle” (sluder et al. ) The second student I interviewed Tyler Sluder, a fifth year senior, actually believed that recycling was more accessible and he increased his recycling a lot, “seeing a campus wide initiative like this really made me want to at the very least throw in my pop bottles, and help out.” 

It seems that the recycling program didn’t really create quite the buzz among students. Students that recycled before continued to do so, and students that didn’t, still didn’t. These two students were different in the recycling schemes before the change, so the program just symbolized those mixed results.

Overall, the All Recycling Program had mixed results. On one hand, the recycling benefits were exciting, and recycling doubled in just sporting events alone. On the other hand, in a very, very small sample, it didn’t seem like there was great result in getting students to want to recycle. The two students interviewed seem to echo the student body in that it didn’t encourage students to recycle or not, it just provided a little bit more access to.

University of Cincinnati , "Bearcat Recycling." Last modified Accessed March 8, 2013.

University of Cincinnati , "Recycling @UC." Accessed March 8, 2013.

University of Cincinnati , "Announcing: All Recycling." Accessed March 8, 2013.

Reilly, M.B. "Recycling Grows at UC – By Tons at a Time ." . (accessed March 8, 2013).
Interview Citation
sluder, tyler, and brandon Addis. "Recycling Go or No." by Kendall Jent . .

Sarah's Week 9 Journal Entry
In 2010 The University of Cincinnati initiated an All Recycling program. The All Recycling program was not the first recycling program at the university; students and faculty have been recycling since 1991. Therefore, the implementation of the All Recycling program was met with little criticism. In interviewing multiple students, faculty, and staff I found that everyone agreed with the program and some individuals even provided ideas for the program to continue to excel.

(Photo from

The interviews with individuals affiliated with the University of Cincinnati held no disagreement with the All Recycling program. "It saves money and reduces waste" says Claire Sweigart, Director of Sustainability for the University of Cincinnati. Claire Sweigart adds "I have not heard any criticisms about starting the program. Implementing the program did of course require negotiating with the union representing UC's Housekeeping staff because it significantly impacts their assigned duties." Thinking Claire Sweigart might be biased, I decided to consult other staff members, not associated with UC Sustainability.

The lack of affiliation to the UC Sustainability program had no impact on staff member's views. Positive views were provided by all the staff members interviewed. Main comments included the simplicity of the program as well as the comment 'recycling is always great'. In addition to staff members I wanted to see how the implementation of the All Recycling program at the University of Cincinnati affected the students enrolled at the university.

Students provided positive light on the program as well! Students from sustainability groups commented on the cost of the program. The All Recycling program as well as other recycling programs at UC usually earn the university money or are at least cost neutral. The students provided ideas they would like to see implemented by UC Sustainability. The ideas included more signage or education of what can be placed in the green recycling bins as well as knowledge of where the recycled materials end up.

I directed students' responses and suggestions to Claire Sweigart, the Director of Sustainability for the University of Cincinnati. The following is the response I received from her:

Thanks for the feedback from students. That’s good to know that they feel that more 

education about what is and is not recyclable is needed. As for where recycled 

materials from the green bins go, they go the same place recyclables from our homes 

go – Rumpke’s recycling facility. Housekeeping takes them to the green recycling 
dumpsters located all over campus, and these dumpsters are emptied by Rumpke twice 
a week.

Interviews aside, let us take a look at the numbers. In 2010 UC's diversion rate was at 65%. Since then the percentage of waste diverted from landfills has been steadily increasing. President Santa Ono's UC2019 strategic plan calls for a 70% diversion rate!

Overall, the All Recycling program implemented on the University of Cincinnati's campus in 2010 received positive views. Very few complaints were argued against the program. The All Recycling Program has shown great success in the three years it has been running, and it is projected to have an even greater impact in the future.

Claire Sweigart, (Director of Sustainability at the University of Cincinnati), interview by Sarah Martynowski, emailMarch 5, 2013.

Janet Wolf, (Manager, MainStreet Connection Center), interview by Sarah Martynowski, In personMarch 8, 2013.

Stover, Dottie. The University of Cincinnati, "Recycling Grows at UC – By Tons at a Time." Last modified 4/20/2011. Accessed March 8, 2013.

The University of Cincinnati, "Recycling @ UC." Last modified 2012. Accessed March 8, 2013.

Allen's Week 9 Journal Entry

2010 was a great year for recycling at the University of Cincinnati. UC began a campus wide program called the All Recycling Program in which they were able to expand their current recycling program. This new program has been successful in decreasing the amount of trash sent to landfills (

On the homepage of the recycling program, the leaders posted information about the program. The first main step was to put recycling bins in all the major buildings on campus. This included all of the dorms. The bins had labels on them that showed the students the recycling was for the All Recycling Program. The site also contains a list of all the acceptable recyclable materials. Contact information is located at the bottom in case there are questions or concerns regarding the program (

This next website contains general information about UC and recycling. It gives statistics about how the recycling program has grown, leading up the the All Recycling program. Recycling efforts used to be limited to tailgaters, but now has spread to 57 sporting events each year. The amount recycled has grown as well. In 2007, there was .3 tons recycled. However, in 2012 there was 10.3 tons recycled. The events where recycling is occurring has grown tremendously as well. This website was very useful to see how recycling at UC has evolved over the years (

This news article explains a more in depth look at the All Recycling program. It was written in 2011, after the program had only been in place for a few months. It tells how recycling went up 23% with the implementation of the program. It mentions how the containers have been placed in 68 locations, with the total number of 900 bins. There were also 37 recycling dumpsters placed on campus. At the end, the article explains some special events that large amounts of recycling occur (Reilly).

This final news article discusses the ongoing construction at UC that occurred in 2010. This was when recycling became a large issue and a main focus for the construction. The article touches on the plan for the All Recycling program because it was written before the implementation occurred. The plan was to have the numerous recycling bins greet the students who were coming back for the fall of 2010. There had been small pilot programs run in two of the dorm halls to see how students would react to the recycling bins. After this was seen as a success, the idea was to have 40 bins placed in each dorm (Reilly).

To understand the program from a student perspective, I talked to two seniors about their thoughts on the All Recycling Program. Senior Kyle Phillips stated, "I definitely noticed the large amounts of recycling bins when I returned to campus for my second year." He went on to discuss how he thought on problem was that some students never knew what to recycle, or thought of it as an inconvenience. Another senior, Heather Muellor claimed that she was unaware of how large the program was. She said, "I knew they added something with recycling but I never really knew how successful it was or what changes were made." She went on to say that she would like to recycle but she usually doesn't throw things away on campus.

I believe the implementation of this program was an overall success. While some students would be unaware of the changes, I think a majority did notice the change. One major problem with the students is the lack of knowing what to recycle. In the one article, it showed an image of the label on the bin and it had no list of items that could be recycled. I think this could be an improvement to the program. If students knew where they could put their recyclable materials, I think it could increase even more. It seems that the bins are widely available, which is a large factor. This is a major reason why the program has been so successful in my opinion. Convenience is a major issue, and this seems to have solved that problem. The program has been a improvement over the past recycling programs as seen in the second website. The amount of tons recycled has increased by 10 tons, and the events at which recycling is occurring has increased by a large amount as well. This program seems to be one of the more successful programs I have heard about. 

Works Cited
"Bearcat Recycling," UC Sustainability, March 6, 2013,

Heather Muellor (UC Senior) in discussion with Allen McPherson, March 2013.

Kyle Phillips (UC Senior) in discussion with Allen McPherson, March 2013. 

M.B. Reilly, "Going Green Part of Recycling, Renovation, Campus Construction," UC News, September 10, 2010, March 6, 2013,

M.B. Reilly, "Recycling Grows at UC-By Tons at a Time," UC News, April 20, 2011, March 6, 2013,

"Recycling @ UC," Facilities Management, March 6, 2013,

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