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Centralized Trash Coming to Sherman Center in January

If you work or study in the Albert Sherman Center, then a good New Year’s resolution to consider is to be a recycling champion, because your personal trash bin is going away.

Beginning January 4, 2016 a new “centralized trash” model will be implemented in the ASC, starting on the 9th floor and working its way down. the goal is to have the entire building on the new model by the end of January.

“Centralized trash is now fully implemented in the Lazare Research Building and we’re seeing great results. So we’re moving forward across the campus,” said Bill Tsaknopoulos, director of auxiliary services at UMass Chan who manages the campus recycling and trash disposal programs.

Centralized trash means giving up the trash bin in your office and keeping only the blue recycling bin. The model prompts people to think about what they are throwing away. Recycling is nearby, but the trash bin is down the hall in a common area. The approach has boosted recycling rates at the LRB and at other institutions that use the model.

Improving recycling rates to make progress on the campus’s sustainability goals is the primary motivation for the centralized trash program, Tsaknopoulos said, but it’s not the only benefit. Moving to the centralized model will reduce the number of plastic bags now used to line everyone’s individual trash bin.

“We spend almost $40,000 a year on trash bags, so this will cut that significantly,” he noted.

The new model also changes the work flow for the Environmental Building Services (EBS) employees who collect trash and recyclables. Emptying one central trash receptacle instead 100 small office bins in a department saves a lot of time, Tsaknopoulos said, so the EBS team could be redeployed to provide other services, like increased vacuuming, dusting or floor-washing.

“We’ve been running EBS the same way for decades. Moving to centralized trash gives us the opportunity to think outside of the box and see if there are better ways we can do things, so that’s what we’re looking at right now,” Tsaknopoulos said.