Cataloging all outdoor waste bins in the spring of 2015 demonstrated that across the sidewalks and greens of the Ohio University campus in Athens, Ohio, there were more than 245 outdoor bins to send materials to the landfill and only 13 that were used to recycle.

Work is underway to change that ratio. When the entire conversion is complete, the University will see the number of outdoor trash bins reduced to approximately 200 sites and ensure recycling is co-located at each.

Co-location is the practice of providing recycling opportunities directly next to every ‘trash’ can. The project will reduce landfill, increase recycling opportunities, serve as a powerful teaching tool and grow the culture of sustainability at Ohio University and across Southeast Ohio.

Over the last two months, Ohio University’s Campus Recycling has successfully converted 70 landfill bins to recycling including all locations in the West Green residential area. To accomplish the West Green conversion, a Waste Management/Keep America Beautiful Think Green Grant provided Keep Southeast Ohio Beautiful with $5,000 toward the purchase of new lids with new recycling graphics. These allowed what were 26 trash-only locations to be converted into 13 co-located recycling opportunities.