How to actually recycle on campus; Kent Wired; March 18, 2024

Kent Wired Article by Alton Northrup

By Alton Northrup, Kent Wired


When making an effort to recycle, not everyone does it right.

“Sometimes, people do something that’s called ‘wishcycling,’” said Melanie Knowles, the sustainability manager for the university. “You look at this item, you say, ‘Oh, I wish this was recyclable.’ If you put it in the recycling, it’s going to be contaminated.”

At Kent State, recycling is single stream, which means all recyclable materials go in one dumpster. Each week, Kimble Companies collects recycling from campus and takes it to its facility in Twinsburg to sort by material type and size. At the end of its process, the recyclables are smashed into cubes called bales, which are then sold to manufacturers to turn into new products.

But the most important step in this process is what students decide to toss in their residence halls. If the wrong materials end up in the dumpster, the entire load might end up taking a trip to the landfill.


So what can be recycled?

  • Clean bottles and jugs with necks smaller than its body (keep the caps on)
  • Cans
  • Cardboard
  • Glass bottles
  • Paper without glue, tape or paint.
  • Pro tip: If you’re feeling extra kind, you can remove staples from papers, but it’s not necessary.

Each residence hall has signs on its cans explaining what to toss, but Knowles advised: “If in doubt, throw it out.”

Alton Northup is a campus editor. Contact him at

POSTED: Monday, March 18, 2024 09:50 AM
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2024 09:50 AM