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Sorting no more

Recycling no longer involves sorting thanks to Castleton’s new Zero Sort Recycling program.Castleton has teamed up with Casella Waste Management in an effort to simplify and increase recycling.

Zero Sort Recycling allows all recyclables to be deposited into one bin. All plastics 1-7, cans, aluminum, tin, glass of any color, any kind of paper, boxboard and corrugated cardboard can all go into the same container, according to Professor Paul Derby, a sociology and anthropology professor at Castleton and the Green Campus Initiative coordinator.

“It’s much faster and much more efficient,” Derby said. “Essentially anything recyclable can go in bins that say recycling.”

All of the campus’s recycling is deposited into a collection container that is picked up weekly by Casella Waste Management.

From there it is mechanically sorted by Casella’s state of the art facility. According to a promotional video on the Casella Web site, the facility uses cameras to identify different types of recyclable materials and sorts using an assortment of air-jets, magnets, rollers and movable screens.

Studies show zero sort recycling leads to a 30 percent increase in recycling, Derby Said.

The program’s simplicity is a key benefit that encourages use.

“It’s easy for them [students] to recycle. We want them to do it now, no excuses because they don’t have to hunt around for bins,” Derby said.

Richard Surmanek, a secondary education and English major, said simplicity is a key advantage the program offers.

“It’s [recycling] not hard in general, but one bin is easier for the general public . It’s because we’re lazy,” he said.

Traci Hubbell, a communications major, agrees that simplicity is good thing when it comes to recycling.

“The less thought involved the better it will work,” Hubbell said.

Derby is optimistic about the program’s future success and he has a great track record to back him up.

In the first five years of the Green Campus Initiative, a program started in 2005 to “make recycling and other environmentally sound practices an intrinsic part of campus life” at Castleton, 125 tons of material have been recycled. And it has increased each year. In 2005 Castleton recycled 22 tons. By 2008 that rose to about 40 tons.

“Recycling more is better for the environment and the college,” Derby said. “It saves the college money to decrease trash. It would be nice if it was passed down to students.