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UNCG reducing carbon footprint on campus and keeping students safer with Bigbelly bins

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — The University of North Carolina Greensboro recycles an average of 200 tons of comingled material every year.

To deal with the volume and to cut down on the number of garbage trucks coming on campus, the university added six high-tech bins on College Avenue.

“They definitely look nicer than the other ones and I definitely like that they have solar panels on top of them,” said Sam Colvin, a UNCG Freshman.

The Bigbelly bins also have a 12-volt battery allowing the trash and recycled items inside to compact.

They can hold eight times more trash than a normal bin.

“Every time that compactor arm comes down, it transmits a signal to a software we have on our computers and smartphones, so we are actually able to see when these machines are full,” said Ross Rick, UNCG assistant director for facility services.

This makes collection more efficient, keeps students safer and keeps the campus more eco-friendly.

"We've reduced our carbon footprint by 8% over the last 10 years. We've seen our efficiency increase,” said Sean MacInnes, UNCG sustainability specialist.

Students paid for this clean and green way of collecting trash and recyclables.

“It’s a part of the students’ activity fee that they pay so every student pays approximately $3 into the green fund and it becomes about $58,000 a year,” said MacInnes.

The assistant director of facilities is hoping to eventually put these Bigbelly bins all over campus

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