While some students use recycling as a way to make money by returning bottles for the 10-cent deposit, the city of Ann Arbor grossed $270,000 last year due to the combined recycling efforts of both the city and the University.

This money raised is then placed into a general budget, which helps offset the costs of the recycling programs, as well funding services including the Police Department, the Fire Department and snow removal.

The University has a number of programs designed for trash reduction efforts, said Sarah Archer, recycling coordinator for the University.

“We have an extensive array of great programs across a wide spectrum,” Archer said.

Through the use of bins for both paper and containers, the University recycled 2,300 tons of paper and 123 tons of bottles and cans last year. Considering the University produced 8,100 tons of waste, roughly 30 percent was diverted from landfills, Archer said.

The stadium program that went into effect for the 2000 football season also was able to remove 12 tons of bottles from the Big House.

“This program is the first of its kind in the nation,” Archer said. “Fans can actually participate, and we are definitely proud of that achievement.”

Recycling efforts began at the University 11 years ago because of “increasing pressure from the diverse groups on campus,” Archer said.

Although recycling by the University has grown, Archer said she believes students may not be the cause.

“The rates are consistently the same in the summer months, which means it”s mostly done by staff, not students,” Archer said. “I think there could be heightened awareness and participation for students on campus.”

Bryan Weinert, the manager of resource recovery for the city of Ann Arbor, said the joint efforts at recycling between the city and the University offer several benefits to both the community and the environment in addition to enlarging landfill spaces.

“By recycling we do not need to utilize our nation”s virgin natural resources,” Weinert said. “It also results in the conservation of energy because it takes less energy to produce a new item from an old one.”

The facilities utilized for recycling bring “substantially more jobs than waste removal,” giving an added benefit for the city, Weinert said.

Once the recyclables are collected, they are then taken to a material recovery facility within the city limits. Last year the city recycled 15,000 tons of materials, and composted 13,000 tons, reducing waste by 41 percent, Weinert said.

“We are consistently ranked among the best,” Weinert said.

For students who live in off-campus housing, one of the largest programs in the city is the curbside pickup, said Melinda Werling, executive director of Recycle Ann Arbor, one of the nonprofit organizations that assist the city.

“Residents get two bins one for containers such as glass bottles and aluminum, and the other for paper,” Werling said.

The city of Ann Arbor recently met the White House”s National Recycling Challenge by achieving more than a 35 percent recycling rate. Ann Arbor was also named as one of the nation”s top 20 recycling communities by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in 1999.

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