Move-in nets 28,188 pounds of cardboard for recycling

By Rebecca A. Doyle

More than 14 tons of cardboard were collected this year by Plant Ground and Waste Management crews during move-in week. The corrugated cardboard comes from boxes students use to transport books, clothing and personal items to their residence hall rooms each term.

The amount collected, says Erica M. Spiegel, special projects coordinator in the University’s waste management department, is 1,431 pounds more than last year. It represents 238 trees saved, 145,614 Kilowatt hours of energy that would have been used in producing new cardboard, and 376 cubic yards of landfill space—enough to fill the Cube in Regents’ Plaza 20 times.

Cardboard recycling during move-in week is just part of the University’s recycling program, Spiegel notes. During last academic year, the U-M recycled 1,620 tons of paper and 56 tons of plastic jugs, glass bottles and steel containers. This year, she says, new collection containers for newspapers, bottles and cans should increase the total.

Since 1990, Waste Management has sponsored a contest and awarded prizes to students who come closest to guessing the amount of cardboard recycled. This year guesses ranged from a mere 20 pounds to an optimistic 7.5 million pounds. The winner was Wilson Lee, a Mary Markley resident, who guessed 28,050 and was awarded tickets to the k. d. lang concert at Hill Auditorium. The actual amount was 28,188 pounds.


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