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Each residence hall has a large roll off containers for recyclable material and trash. You can place all of the following in the recycle container: paper products, plastic material No. 1-7, aluminum/tin cans and cardboard. No glass is permitted in the containers. The landfill container takes all nonrecyclable material. There also is a canopy tent where you can place furniture and household and electronic items. Inside each residence hall, there are four large boxes where you can place the following items: clothing, blankets and pillows, nonperishable food items and books.

Living off campus? Drop off your recyclable items at the Recycling Center behind Weber Hall.

Beta Theta Pi members assist K-State recycling program

Beta Theta Pi members

The K-State recycling staff thanks the 17 members of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity who spent their afternoon on Dec. 9 before finals week working on a waste audit program with the recycling department.

They sorted through 283 pounds of refuse and diverted 124 pounds — or 43 percent — of recycling material from entering the landfill station.

This is a great tradition to keep the drive moving throughout the year in support of the K-State recycling program. Your time and dedication shows a great effort and is very much appreciated by all.


K-State’s recycling growth sets the bar for other Big 12 schools

By William Ridge

Dec 7, 2018

Recycling Center

Recyclable materials are sorted into different piles at the K-State Recycling Centers on March 10, 2016. (Miranda Snyder | The Collegian)


In 2012, K-State Recycling only processed around 1.3 million pounds of recycling material. Their diversion rate, which represents the amount of waste that is diverted from a landfill for recycling, was only 17 percent of all refuse.

Since then, the center made the push to single source all recycling. Bill Spiegel, Recycling Center facility supervisor, said even though they tried to make recycling easier, the center still faced challenges.

“We separated white paper, magazines, newspaper, aluminum cans, plastic bottle—we separated everything. Even though we separated all those things, we still had roughly 20 percent contamination where people threw other materials and other things into recycling,” Spiegel said.

This led Spiegel to involve himself and the center with the Student Governing Association, Students for Environmental Action, Panhellenic life and the university administration.

“I asked them all, ‘How can I make recycling easier for you? How can it be more convenient?'” Spiegel said.

Based on that feedback, Spiegel and the center turned to a single-stream, or one bin recycling, plan for on campus recycling

“When we made that change, our numbers exploded because it not only made it easier for people on campus to recycle, but it was easier for custodians on campus to empty the recycling bins,” Spiegel said.

This method of recycling was adopted throughout campus, including Housing and Dining Services, Athletics and university administrative operations.

After five years of this system, the K-State Recycling Center increased recycling to over 2 million pounds and increased its diversion rate to nearly 33 percent.

With the increase of recycling at Kansas State in terms of mass, the Recycling Center has seen growth as well. Starting in 2011, when Spiegel began working for K-State Recycling, the center had none of the dumpster-like blue recycling bins that now populate the center.

“We went from none to six, then six to 12, and now we have 20 out here,” Spiegel said. “They’re being filled all the time because we make it convenient for students and faculty to use.”

When Spiegel began, the center didn’t recycle glass either. In 2012, the center recycled 22,000 pounds of glass. By 2017, that number grew to 127,000 pounds of glass annually.

The growth of the Recycling Center in the last several years has garnered national recognition for K-State. In the Recyclemania competition, a voluntary competition between colleges that takes place between February and March, K-State placed 35th in the nation in total recycling and has been the highest ranked university out of all Big 12 universities four out of the last five years.

“Our biggest competition is the University of Texas, which is nearly three times larger than us, but we keep up with them real well,” Spiegel said.

A big part of Recyclemania is the competitive aspect of it, Spiegel said.

“That university about 100 miles to the east of us, they don’t do 2/3 of what we do, and we do it with a lot less. That’s what it’s all about, that’s what makes us K-State,” Spiegel said.

Spiegel said even though he knows he can’t persuade everyone to recycle, his goal is to make recycling as easy as possible for everyone on campus.

“The bins here at the Recycling Center are here and available 24-hours a day,” Spiegel said. “On any given day, it’s like a drive through. People are always coming around to drop off their recyclables in the bins. Once you get the word out and make it easy for people, they don’t mind doing it.”


K-State's recycling program is among the best. Meet the man behind it.

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Reduce, reuse and recycle at the Union

By Hannah Ens

Union recycling

Recycling at the K-State Student Union involves more than a few pieces of paper and soda bottles. Union recycling bins are located throughout the building and can accept plastics No. 1-7, aluminum, tin and paper products.

Not sure if your trash is recyclable? Here are a few common examples of recyclable materials frequently found in the Union:

  • Plastic soda bottles, including lids.
  • Paper soda cups and straws.
  • Glass beverage bottles, including lids.
  • Unused napkins.
  • Cup carriers (cardboard trays).
  • Restaurant packaging, including:
    • Chick-fil-A paper bags.
    • Radina's cups, lids and cup sleeves.
    • Call Hall at the Union cups.
    • Fast Track containers.

An additional university recycling bin is located outside the south entrance.

The Union Recycling Committee encourages everyone to think about what can be reduced, reused or recycled before simply tossing it in the trash. During fall 2018 move-in, K-Staters recycled 13.83 tons of recyclable material. Take it even further by upcycling. Upcycling doesn't have to be complicated — it can be as simple as donating clothes you no longer want rather than tossing them in the dumpster. If you're ready to put this principle into action, donate new or lightly-used business professional attire to the Career Closet in the Berney Family Welcome Center. Food and hygiene items for the Cats' Cupboard food pantry can be left in the donation box to the right of the Cats' Den entrance. It doesn't take much to help the environment as well as your fellow Wildcats.

K-State recycling reaches out

Bill Spiegel at Onaga ElementaryBill Spiegel, K-State recycling supervisor and member of the Kansas Organization of Recyclers, gave a presentation to students in the Onaga school district in recognition of America Recycles Day.

The school forum, sponsored by the Pottawatomie Recycling Committee, suggests ways schools can reduce solid wastes and also effectively recycle in the area.

Spiegel helped students understand their responsibility in taking care of the environment now and in the future.

"It is so easy to say recycle; however, that has changed rapidly," Spiegel said. "Students need to understand their role in reducing solid waste and how to reuse or repurpose things as well as effective recycling techniques."

Overall, 531 students in first through 12th grades were taught the effectiveness of a school-based recycling program.


Beta Sigma Psi fraternity members assist K-State recycling program

The K-State recycling staff thanks the 14 members of the Beta Sigma Psi fraternity who spent the afternoon of Sunday, Nov. 11, working on a waste audit program with the recycling department. Members of Beta Sigma Psi

They sorted through 425 pounds of refuse and diverted 92 pounds — or 21.6 percent — of recycling material from entering the landfill station.

This is a great tradition to keep the drive moving throughout the year in support of the K-State recycling program. Your time and dedication show a great effort and is very much appreciated by all.

K-State students receive 'A' in recycling

Congratulations students! During fall 2018 move-in, K-Staters recycled 13.83 tons of recyclable material, which comprised of cardboard, paper products, plastic material No. 1-7 and aluminum cans, while only 5.85 tons went to the landfill. 

In the five years that the Recycling Center has been exercising this effort, this was by far the best year with a more than 70.27 percent diversion rate for move-in.

With great coordination with students, housing and dining and recycling staff, we all make a difference.

Below is the history of move-in results. 

Kansas State University  
Move in recycling/refuse data  
DateWeight of recycling (tons)Weight of refuse (tons)Diversion rate
2018 13.835.8570.27


Recycling Center organizes recycling effort for 451 mattresses mattress pic loading

The K-State Recycling Center is passionate about recycling and works with K-State departments to ensure old recyclable materials find renewed beginnings. The center recently worked with Housing and Dining Services to recycle 451 mattresses.

Though the center can recycle aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, glass and more, mattresses are a bit more difficult. Nevertheless, the recycling coordinator found an organization in the Greater Kansas City area that agreed to pick up, sanitize and redistribute these mattresses to children in need at no cost to the university. A team from Housing and Dining Services assisted in loading the 451 mattresses in the three-hour process. A job well done!

Recycling 2018 move-out results


We had another great move-out year for recycling. During this time frame, the students recycled more than 1,490 pounds of bedding and clothes. All bedding went to the K-State Veterinary Health Center and the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter in Manhattan. We had a 77 percent increase in recycling from 2017 results and a 1 percent decrease in refuse. Thanks to Housing and Dining Services staff, recycling staff and the students, it was a job well done.

Below are the exact numbers:

Move-out data 
























Recycle material

( Roll offs)




















Refuse total








Diversion rate

3.72 percent

1.61 percent

20.49 percent

21.95 percent

33.55 percent


Kansas State University is Big 12 champions in recycling


University rankings




K-State Recycling

Recycling Center

The Recycling Program (PDF) started in 1989 and is coordinated through the Division of Facilities. Grants from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), Alcoa, Pepsi, Coca Cola, and City/University funds made it possible to purchase recycling equipment, such as trailers, a side-load collection truck, collection bins, carts, and balers to process the material.

In 1998, the K-State Recycling Committee was formed, comprised of faculty, staff, student and Division of Facilities representatives. The committee's goal is to help expand recycling efforts across the campus and by doing so, create a more environmentally friendly campus, minimize the waste stream and decrease waste management costs.

In 2008, the former Wind Erosion Research building was damaged by a tornado and in 2012 became the new K-State Recycling Center.


K-State Recycling Lends a Helping Hand

Cloud County Recycling CenterThe following note was recently received from the Cloud County Recycling Center. (It has been edited for grammar and spelling.) “The Cloud County Recycling Center in Concordia KS has a backlog of hard-back books we have received from local residents, libraries, and schools over the past several years. We have been trying to sell them for a while now with no luck. We received an email from KOR on K-State recycling stating what they accepted. We contacted Bill Spiegel with our problem of not being able to move the books.  Bill told us he would see what he could do to help. Within a few days, Bill had made arrangements for us to sell our load of books and within a week they were gone.  THANK YOU, BILL!!!!” 








Recycling Highlights


Recyclemania is Coming


February 1 through March 30, 2019



Bill Spiegel receives environmental education recognition

Bill Spiegel

Bill Spiegel, K-State's recycling supervisor, was recently recognized by Rachel Wahle, educational program specialist for the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, and Amanda Campanella, USD 383 representative, for outstanding community involvement in sustainability measures.

Spiegel discussed environmental education procedures that affect the community with the USD teachers and science technology, engineering, mathematics, or STEM, students. Spiegel also discussed procedures that include the basic recycle material such as paper and plastics, and additional items such as soil and e-waste material. This education process is aiding them in completing the Kansas Green School Program for 2018.


 Recycling fun

Students try their luck with plastic water bottles instead of the traditional sand bags. Great challenges!

 Do you recycle? iRecycle!

This cool app from Earth911.com shows tons of materials that can be recycled. Enter your zip code and it tells you where to recycle. This app is good for Android and iOS.