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The MAX-R BLOG

Planning

Campus Move Out

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Campus Move Out

March 21, 2017, Roger Guzowski

The end of the school year is coming. With it, if you are a residential campus, comes one of the biggest waste and recycling events of the year: student move out. To help make your move out a diversion success story, here are five tips, along with links to prior blog posts, that can give you more in-depth information

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Planning for Summer Construction Projects

Logistics  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Planning for Summer Construction Projects

January 09, 2017, Roger Guzowski

If you’re a campus planner or facilities administrator, summertime dreaming often means that you are scrambling to put the finishing touches on summer construction plans. This is often the final home stretch of a particular project that has been in process for years.

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The Road to Achieving Zero Waste at your Next Event

Operations  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

The Road to Achieving Zero Waste at your Next Event

September 14, 2016, Lindy Farrar

Working towards and achieving a zero waste event may seem like a daunting task. Yes, it is not an easy feat to divert all of your waste away from landfill; however there are several common strategies to working towards a zero waste goal at your next event. It is necessary to remember it is the steps along your journey, not your end product that will make your goal have a lasting effect and a legacy for future generations.

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Successful Waste Management Takes Commitment, Not Cash

Planning  •  Sustainability  •  Waste and Recycling  

Successful Waste Management Takes Commitment, Not Cash

June 15, 2016, Amanda Simons

Recycling has come a long way since the mid 80’s when the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” slogan became the official chant of the green movement.

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Defining Waste & Recycling Program Success

Planning  •  Recycling Topics  •  Sustainability  

Defining Waste & Recycling Program Success

April 13, 2016, Roger Guzowski

As the sustainable-materials-management industry has grown since the 1980s, we have added a lot of goals, regulations and reports. And in those, we use a lot of terms. But what do we mean when we use those terms? Too often, what makes a recycling program a rousing success or a spectacular failure comes down not to efforts, investments, programs, but merely definitions.

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Back to School

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Back to School

August 20, 2015, Roger Guzowski

If you are a college or university, depending on when classes start, you are either already knee deep in student move-in issues or about to be. If you are a new reader, below are some previously-written blog posts to help you navigate some of the recycling and sustainability issues you will encounter as the students return. And if you are a returning reader, hopefully one of these posts will remind you of something that you said you wanted to try this year.

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Making the Most of Student Move Out

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Making the Most of Student Move Out

May 06, 2015, Roger Guzowski

If you manage recycling programs at a residential campus, student move out is one of the most frantic periods of the year. If you’re new to the process, it can be overwhelming. But, regardless of whether you are still planning for move out, staring at the piles of discarded stuff accumulating as students are moving out, or have already missed your window of opportunity and are merely leaving notes for things to do better next year, focusing on the six items below will help.

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Recycling Program Budget

Planning  •  Recycling Topics  •  Waste and Recycling  

Recycling Program Budget

December 19, 2014, Roger Guzowski

Successfully growing and sustaining recycling programs can sometimes depend on something as simple as where you budget recycling expenses. As budgets are being set for next fiscal year, now is the time to think about what you want accomplish next year, how you want to fund it, and perhaps most importantly, where you want to fund it.

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Education in Residence Halls, Part 2

Education  •  Planning  •  Recycling Process  

Education in Residence Halls, Part 2

October 23, 2014, Roger Guzowski

In part 1 of this post, I proposed that the most effective way to deliver this education is a hybrid system that uses the existing access of the resident assistants (RAs) and bolsters it with a smaller group of expert and enthusiastic enviro-liaisons.

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Education in Residence Halls, Part 1

Education  •  Planning  •  Recycling Process  

Education in Residence Halls, Part 1

October 21, 2014, Roger Guzowski

Residence halls are home for any resident students that you have on campus for the 8+ months per year that they live there. That means that at some point you are going to need to do recycling education in the residence halls. The question is how.

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Improve Cost Effectiveness of Your Recycling Program, Part 2

Planning  •  Recycling Process  •  Waste and Recycling  

Improve Cost Effectiveness of Your Recycling Program, Part 2

October 08, 2014, Roger Guzowski

A while back, I wrote a couple of blog posts about funding. They focused primarily on outside funding. But rather than just looking for outside funding sources, have you looked to see whether there are ways to enhance the revenues that you receive for your recyclables to get you the extra funding that you need? What items on your wish list could you fund if you took advantage of those opportunities? Do you have filet mignon that you are selling as ground beef? Have you looked at that before you ask someone else for money? By weight, most of the traditional recyclables on a college campus are high grade printing and writing papers.

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Improve Cost Effectiveness of Your Recycling Program, Part 1

Planning  •  Recycling Topics  •  Waste and Recycling  

Improve Cost Effectiveness of Your Recycling Program, Part 1

September 19, 2014, Roger Guzowski

Ah, that magical moment when you lift up the couch cushions to clean and find money that had fallen between the cushions. It’s never enough for big expenses like the rent or mortgage, but sometimes it can be enough to get something you didn’t think you had enough money for, especially if you save it up over time. A while back, I wrote a couple of blog posts about funding. They focused primarily on outside funding. But rather than just looking for outside funding sources, are there opportunities to improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of your existing program? If you take advantage of those opportunities, would it be like finding extra money in your couch cushions, money that you didn’t realize you had? What items on your wish list could you fund if you took advantage of those opportunities?

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Know Your Campus, Part 3

Education  •  Planning  •  Recycling Process  

Know Your Campus, Part 3

June 06, 2014, Roger Guzowski

For part 3 of this “Know Your Campus” series, I am going to focus on location. Some folks in real estate are fond of suggesting that location is everything. I wouldn’t go that far, but location can have a profound impact on how you manage your recycling and sustainability programs. In terms of location, I would suggest there are 3 main categories of schools: Urban campuses, Semi-urban/suburban campuses, Rural campuses

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Know Your Campus, Part 2

Education  •  Operations  •  Planning  

Know Your Campus, Part 2

May 30, 2014, Roger Guzowski

For this part 2, I am focusing on some of the differences between public and private schools. Every school has a complicated mix of funding sources, a lot of which I am going to gloss over (consider this the intro 100-level version). For those of you who are recent students making the transition to coordinator or who are folks new to working with schools, I am hoping this overview helps.

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Different Than Home

Best practices  •  Operations  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Different Than Home

May 14, 2014, Roger Guzowski

When you set up a recycling program, one struggle that you often encounter is that some people think they already know everything about recycling.

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Student Move Out Day, Part 3

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Student Move Out Day, Part 3

April 25, 2014, Roger Guzowski

“I can’t believe what those kids leave behind.” If you do enough end-of-the-year student move outs, you hear that statement a lot. If you’re making that statement to note the number of opportunities that there are to recover valuable materials, and how much of a shame it is to see that stuff end up in a landfill, then we’re on the same page.

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Student Move Out Day, Part 2

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Student Move Out Day, Part 2

April 12, 2014, Roger Guzowski

There are over 1,500 4-year colleges and universities across the U.S. and almost all of them have some portion of their enrollment that lives on campus and has to move out at the end of the year. When those students move out, there is a huge surge of trash that goes along with it. At more residential schools, it is not uncommon to see trash totals nearly double the month that students move out.

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Know Your Campus, Part 1

Education  •  Operations  •  Planning  

Know Your Campus, Part 1

April 10, 2014, Roger Guzowski

Every campus is a little bit different. Ironically, if you break a campus down into individual parts (e.g. traditional dormitory-style residence halls, apartment/suite style residence halls, faculty offices, departmental offices, cash-operations dining, dining commons, etc.), each individual part is actually pretty darn similar. But what makes each campus completely unique is the combination of parts, scale of the parts, the overall academic philosophy, and the fundamental business model of the campus. For the next few blog posts, I am planning to focus on some of the biggest differences and some fundamental changes those differences bring.

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An Open Letter to Students During Move Out

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

An Open Letter to Students During Move Out

April 04, 2014, Roger Guzowski

This is an open letter to college students, their families, and their friends all across the country. Please forward this to anyone that you know who is moving out of a residence hall in the next few months or just as importantly anyone who is going to a college or university campus to help their child, sibling or friend move out

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Planning for Student Move Out

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Planning for Student Move Out

March 20, 2014, Roger Guzowski

At every residential school I have ever worked with, the trash nearly doubles in May when the students move out. Way too much of that is perfectly nice stuff that is not deliberately left behind. It is left behind because it didn’t fit.

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Budgeting for Recycling Expenses

Operations  •  Planning  •  Recycling Topics  

Budgeting for Recycling Expenses

December 19, 2013, Roger Guzowski

Successfully growing and sustaining recycling programs can sometimes depend on something as simple as where you budget recycling expenses. As budgets are being set for next fiscal year, now is the time to think about what you want to accomplish next year, how you want to fund it, and perhaps most importantly where you want to fund it.

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Sustainability Projects and Student Groups

Education  •  Operations  •  Planning  

Sustainability Projects and Student Groups

September 12, 2013, Roger Guzowski

As a staff member or administrator, working with student clubs and organizations can sometimes be both the most rewarding experience and sometimes the most frustrating. Don’t let this potentially great experience be doomed by false expectations.

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Pre-Consumer Composting

Compost  •  Planning  •  Sustainability  

Pre-Consumer Composting

August 30, 2013, Roger Guzowski

There are many reasons why people decide to compost food waste. In some cases, you might be trying to proactively make your operation more sustainable. In other cases, you might only be trying to ward off a group of riled up activists who are approaching your office like villagers storming the gates of Frankenstein’s castle, pitchforks and torches in hand. Regardless of why you are composting food waste, when people think of food waste, they sometimes only think about post-consumer plate scrapings.

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Compost Apocalypse - Is Your Facility Prepared?

Compost  •  Planning  •  Sustainability  

Compost Apocalypse - Is Your Facility Prepared?

August 23, 2013, Roger Guzowski

With a little planning you can make a food composting program a success – and something that will be positive for everyone involved.

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Embracing the Mundane

Best practices  •  Planning  •  Sustainability  

Embracing the Mundane

January 18, 2013, Roger Guzowski

I want to change the world. It has been a rallying cry for folks entering the environmental field for a generation. As I near 25 years in this field, I realized something. That I have seen more programs fail, not because of a lack of big ideas, or great ideals, but because of mundane details.

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Getting Home Safely

Operations  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Getting Home Safely

February 16, 2012, Roger Guzowski

In my decades in the recycling field, I have seen a lot of facilities, seen a lot of recycling plans, and had a lot of conversations about recycling programs. Yet one that will always stick with me was on a tour of a recycling processing facility in which there was an operations manager who said very proudly, “our number one goal is to make sure our people get home safe at the end of the day.”

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It's Nothing Personal

Best practices  •  Planning  •  Recycling Topics  

It's Nothing Personal

November 29, 2011, Roger Guzowski

Beyond personal interests and motivations though, there is a series of “business decisions” that drive all of the decision-making at any institution or business. Understanding these drivers is often the key to getting the support that you need for your program.

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Balance Recycling Drivers

Planning  •  Sustainability  •  Waste and Recycling  

Balance Recycling Drivers

November 22, 2011, Roger Guzowski

We focus a lot on making recycling easy. We try to make it easy for waste generators to recycle. We try to make it easy to understand. We try to make recycling bins easy to find. Hopefully we focus on trying to make it easy for staff to collect. Yet somehow, too often, we forget to make recycling easy to support. Making your program easy to support is critical to getting the administrative support that you need to sustain the program.

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Surviving a Waste Audit, Part 2

Operations  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Surviving a Waste Audit, Part 2

September 08, 2011, Roger Guzowski

I think anyone should experience a full-blown waste sort at least once. As a learning experience, it is a real eye opener. However, I don’t think it is often necessary to determine whether or not you should target something for recycling or waste reduction efforts.

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Surviving a Waste Audit, Part 1

Operations  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Surviving a Waste Audit, Part 1

September 06, 2011, Roger Guzowski

Whether you are just starting out, or trying to figure out what to do next, you can’t divert stuff out of the trash if you don’t know what’s available in the trash to be diverted.

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Recycling Program Evolution, Part 2

Education  •  Planning  •  Waste and Recycling  

Recycling Program Evolution, Part 2

July 28, 2011, Roger Guzowski

It is this intermediate phase that seems to be the most complicated for many programs to get through. Every transition from one phase to the next takes planning and hard work. But in over 20 years of working with recycling programs, I have seen more programs get stuck in this intermediate phase of their development than any other. Some spend decades in this phase whereas others progress through it relatively quickly to get to the integrated sustainable program that they really want.

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