FAQ About Sustainability at PhilaU

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is sustainability?

Q: Why is sustainability important to PhilaU?

Q: What does Philadelphia University currently recycle?

Q: What is single-stream recycling? 

Q: What goes in Recycle bins?

Q: Where do all of the CLEAR bags go?

Q: What can I deposit directly into an outside blue dumpster?

Q: Where do the recyclables go? 

Q: What items can NOT be recycled?

Q: What goes into card board compactors?

Q: How does leaf and yard waste get recycled?

Q: What happens to the yard waste?

Q: How does cooking oil get recycled?

Q: What happens to the cooking oil? 

Q: What goes into the outside GREEN dumpsters?

Q: What goes into the GREEN Trash compactors?

Q: How do I request a recycle container for a certain area?

Q: What happens when trash or food is disposed in a recycling bin or container?

Q: Why doesn't Philadelphia University have exterior recycling receptacles?

Q: Whom should I contact if I have any questions about waste or energy strategies on campus?




What is sustainability?

United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines it as follows: Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either on directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans can exist in productive harmony, that permits fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.

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Why is sustainability important to PhilaU?

At Philadelphia University, sustainability is a core, foundation value. PhilaU believes in and has promulgated a four-point environmental and sustainability strategy consisting of Academics Programs, Student Engagement, Research, and Campus Operations. The curriculum encourages the development of green materials and products, and underscores operational efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of the campus.

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What does Philadelphia University currently recycle?

  • Paper: office, copy and computer, carbonless forms, envelopes, newspapers, magazines, junk mail
  • Containers: glass, tin, aluminum, plastic (#1-#7)
  • Cardboard
  • Cooking Oil

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What is single-stream recycling?

The University's methodology for collecting recyclable materials is meant to be as simple as possible. Philadelphia University is going greener with single-stream recycling, which means you no longer have to separate items. Just toss all recyclable products, including paper, cardboard, bottles, plastic containers and cans, in the marked recycling bins. Recycling bins are placed throughout residence halls, offices, dining areas and academic buildings. Typically these bins and cans are located in the common spaces of campus buildings and are either BLUE or GREEN.

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What goes in Recycle bins?

The following can be mixed in the bin that should be lined with a CLEAR bag. Items are sorted after collection at a recycling facility:

  • Glass, plastic, steel and aluminum
  • Glass bottles and jars – clear and colored
  • Plastic Containers marked #1 - #7
  • Corrugated Cardboard
  • Office Paper
  • Copier Paper
  • Computer Paper
  • Carbonless Forms
  • Envelopes
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Junk Mail

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Where do all of the CLEAR bags go?

Items in clear bags will be taken from the bins and deposited into outside BLUE dumpsters.

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What can I deposit directly into an outside blue dumpster?

The blue dumpsters on campus are for the following:

  • Clear bagged beverage containers made of aluminum, tin, glass. Or plastic beverage containers marked 1 thru 7. They can all be co-mingled.
  • Clear bagged paper products as listed above.
  • Loose paper products as listed above
  • Loose cardboard, but it must be flattened.

The recycling hauler will segregate the bagged co-mingled material from the paper products.

Some blue hoppers may even have segregation ports.

DO NOT PUT ANY DARK BAGS INTO THE BLUE DUMPSTER'S.

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Where do the recyclables go?

Philadelphia University currently contracts with JP Mascaro for recycling and trash hauling.

Please learn more about recycling facility here.

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What items can NOT be recycled?

  • Thermal FAX paper
  • Carbon Paper
  • Food packages or Pizza boxes
  • Red Bag waste
  • Plastic Shopping Bags

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What goes into card board compactors?

Cardboard ONLY (Please note that these compactors can be operated by qualified personnel ONLY)

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How does leaf and yard waste get recycled?

Philadelphia University’s grounds crew and grounds subcontractors collect all leaf and yard waste in a staging area at the rear of the Ravenhill Campus. This material is then segregated into special roll-off containers collected by our waste hauler, who takes them to an off campus processing facility. 

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What happens to the yard waste?

Philadelphia University also contracts with JP Mascaro for this recycling endeavor. They process and combine it with other material such as pre-processed sewage sludge to make high quality compost.

Please learn more about compost recycling operation here.

In addition the university has also started to side-stream about 20% of our yard waste for re-use as mulch with our landscape company Shearon. All of our mulch utilized on our campus this year emanated from our campus over the past two years, and was mixed, double tub ground, and tested for consistency and acidity prior to application.

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How does cooking oil get recycled?

Dining Service collects all cooking oil into special double walled containers that are located behind each dining facility. This oil is then collected by a specialty firm for purification and re-processing.

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What happens to the cooking oil?

The company Philadelphia University currently uses to reprocess cooking oil is “Greaseland”.

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What goes into the outside GREEN dumpsters?

Trash ONLY ! Trash should be contained in black bags.

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What goes into the GREEN Trash compactors?

Trash. Philadelphia University precompacts the majority of its trash that is collected by the staffs of Housekeeping and Dining Service. These departments have trained personnel to operate the trash compactors. By doing this, required landfill space is minimized.

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How do I request a recycle container for a certain area?

Please utilize our work order system.

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What happens when trash or food is disposed in a recycling bin or container?

This is the largest hindrance to recycling. This wastes the effort of the many people who are environmentally conscious. The entire contents need to be removed and rebagged as garbage now that the recyclables are considered tainted.

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Why doesn't Philadelphia University have exterior recycling receptacles?

The University continues the observed model of Fairmount Park onto our campus which places convenient trash containers throughout the grounds and provides recycling containers at points of destination. This policy reduces clutter, cross contamination, and focuses on the greater environmental priority which is to reduce litter that could make its way into the environment and especially the Wissahickon watershed. We encourage all to use the available exterior refuse and smoking receptacles appropriately and further ask environmentally conscious people to recycle at the nearest building site.

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Whom should I contact if I have any questions about waste or energy strategies on campus?

Please send an email to Kim Piechuta, Assistant Director of Physical Plant or send e-mail to Physical Plant.

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