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UNM Policy Office

MSC05 3357
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
114 A and B

Phone: (505) 277-6531

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Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual - Policy 6350: Recycling Materials

Date Originally Issued: 11-01-1991
Revised: 10-26-1994, 08-01-2006, 01-01-2012

Authorized by RPM 7.9 ("Property Management")
Process Owner: Associate Vice President for Institutional Support Services

1. General

In accordance with the New Mexico State Solid Waste Act, The University of New Mexico has established and implemented a source separation and collection program for recyclable materials, including all types of paper, cardboard, plastic and glass bottles, fluorescent lamps, batteries, electronic waste and scrap metal. The goals of the program are to minimize adverse impact on the environment by diverting usable materials from landfill and to enhance University sustainability efforts.  Source separation and collection program is  managed by the University's Recycling Department, which is part of the Physical Plant Department.  The Recycling Department:

  • assists departments to reduce the amount of waste generated by operations;
  • promote separation of recyclable materials from the University waste stream;
  • assists departments to collect and store recyclable materials safely;
  • Promotes recycling by distributing sustainability and environmental information through a statewide listserv.

The Resource Conservation Manager is the designated head of the Recycling Department. The manager will conduct educational programs for students, faculty, and staff to enhance knowledge of campus recycling activities.  The Resource Conservation Manager also collects and maintains statistics on campus recycling activities for use in annual reports submitted to the State of New Mexico Solid Waste Department.

2. Waste Reduction and Reuse

UNM sustainability efforts include departmental waste reduction and reuse of materials. Procedures that may reduce waste and facilitate reuse include the following:

  • Check to take or donate office items and equipment from the Reusable Office Supplies and Equipment (ROSE) program before purchase or disposal;
  • Check furniture and equipment availability through Surplus Property Department before purchasing new; 
  • Use the “Print Preview” function on your computer before printing and print double-sided whenever possible;
  • Use electronic communication whenever possible;
  • Maintain reports in electronic formats rather than on paper;
  • Post information of interest to the department in a central location rather than making copies for each employee;
  • Share magazine or other subscriptions within the department and interdepartmentally if possible.

3. Collection of Recyclable Materials

The Recycling Department collection area is limited to the Albuquerque North, Central, and South campuses. University entities located outside the collection area may deliver recyclable material to the department by appointment.  The Recycling Department provides free bins to campus departments to collect and store their recyclable materials.  Bins come in various sizes and colors such as blue, yellow, and white.  Small bins are for desk side collection and low usage areas.  Paper collected in small bins should be emptied into medium or large bins in the area.  Medium and large bins may be placed near copiers, printers, and areas convenient for multi-department collection.  Recycling bins for collection of bottles and cans are available.  Collection is done by means of routine, scheduled pickups and also by requesting a special pickup. Special pickups are available if departments experience any activity that generates unusually large quantities of recyclables, such as purchase of computers, staff retirement or periodic file clean out.  Departments requesting a special pickup should create a work order on the Physical Plant Department webpage by using the Service Desk. The work order should include the name of the department and building, room number, name and phone number of the contact person, type of recyclable material, and estimated amount of material. Departments with large quantities of recyclable material or heavy items to be recycled may be requested to deliver the items to the Recycling warehouse.

The Physical Plant Department collects green waste such as tree trimmings, leaves, and grass throughout the campus for composting off site.

4. Fire Hazards

Recycling bins may not be put in halls where they may create a fire hazard or interfere with emergency egress.  If there is any question about a storage location, please contact the Recycling Department who will work with the Campus Fire Marshal to find a satisfactory location for bins.

5. Excluded Materials

  • The Recycling Department does not collect or accept hazardous materials.  Any department using or wanting to dispose of hazardous materials such as paint, metallic mercury, laboratory chemicals, empty drums or buckets must contact the Safety and Risk Services Department to have the items collected.
  • Contaminated papers, materials such as used napkins, used paper towels or used Kleenex are NEVER recyclable and should be thrown in the trash.

6. Sale or Reuse of Recyclable Materials

The Recycling Department and the Surplus Property Department are the only campus departments authorized to sell or otherwise dispose of materials that may be recyclable.  The Recycling Department cannot collect or sell any item that has a University property tag unless the item has first been processed for disposition through the Surplus Property Department.

7. Procurement and Use of Recycled Materials

Section 4.4. of UAP 2100 (“Sustainability”) states, “The green economy favors energy efficiency, reduced use of materials, minimized waste and pollution, and corporate responsibility for fates of materials over product lifetimes, so whenever possible departments should support the local green industry.  In addition, UNM will continue to build a creative materials management program that promotes reuse, reduces consumption, minimizes waste, and maximizes recycling.  The UNM Purchasing Department may be able to help departments locate vendors that offer recycled or recycled-content products.