Beginning in mid-July, it will be easier than ever for members of the university community to recycle.

Virginia Tech, in conjunction with the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Montgomery County, and Radford University, will be converting to single-stream recycling. This means that it will no longer be necessary to sort recyclable materials — all paper, plastic bottles, metal cans, and glass items can be placed into a single recycling bin together.

“We find that sorting recycling can be confusing or inconvenient to people. By switching to single-stream, we’re removing a significant barrier and we expect this new recycling method will increase the university’s recycling rate,” said Denny Cochrane, sustainability program manager at Virginia Tech.

The items that can be recycled will not change significantly. Virginia Tech will continue to accept all plastic containers No. 1-7; glass bottles and jars; all mixed paper, newspaper, and magazines; cardboard; aluminum, steel, and tin cans. For a more detailed list of what can be recycled on campus, please visit the Virginia Tech recycling website.

Over the next several weeks, The Office of Energy and Sustainability and Facilities Operations will replace the lids on some existing recycling containers located inside academic and administration buildings. In addition, the 100 Big Belly recycling containers along sidewalks on campus will be adapted to allow for both paper and container recycling.

Every year, Virginia Tech collects more than 2,000 tons of recyclable material and 3,600 tons of trash. The university's recycling rate has steadily grown since 2008 and was at 40.47 percent in 2014. Virginia Tech is committed to reaching a 50 percent recycling rate by 2020.  

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.