UI pushes "Tiny Trash" initiative to encourage recycling

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- The University of Iowa is showing students how a tiny trash can might make a big difference. They're doing so by literally handing out recycle bins with a tiny trash bin on the side. The goal is for people realize the more they have to empty the smaller bin out, that's what they're contributing to landfills.

"It incentivizes positive environmental behavior because the trash is smaller and the recycling is larger," said Office of Sustainability Interim Director Sara Maples.

UI has a goal is to recycle 60% of its waste by 2020.

"Just think about what you're consuming. One thing that can't be recycled, for example, is granola bar wrappers. So, maybe you know you should lower your intake of granola bars," said UI Office of Sustainability Intern Eden DeWald.

The Sustainability Office says they've already converted more 2,000 staff and faculty members at the school.

"It provides a visual cue to reduce the amount of trash you're producing on your desk side because most of what you reduce can actually be recycled," said Maples.

"As an intern here at the office, I use my own tiny trash and it's definitely something that makes me think every day about what I'm putting in the trash," said DeWald.

The Sustainability Office will be handing out more tiny trash bins Friday morning at Tippie College of Business from 9 a.m.-11 a.m.