University of South Carolina

Russell House gets recycling upgrade

By Liz McCarthy,, 803-777-2848     

While students were away, the Russell House University Union got new additions that could reduce trash and increase recycling.

The facilities department installed eight BigBelly Solar compactors and Smart Belly recycling units around the student union. The units contain a trash compactor operated by solar power and a recycling unit.

The new compactors replaced 40 trash cans from around the Russell House. This will have an impact on labor for facilities workers, the appearance around the union and increased access to recycling, said Larry Cook, recycling coordinator for the facilities department.

With the old trash cans, the facilities department was unable to match a recycling unit with every trash bin. The new compactors provide parallel access.

The units also offer five times the capacity, meaning workers won’t have to empty the bins as often, and because the units are connected to the Internet, workers will be alerted when the bins are filling and need to be emptied.

This will allow the workers to complete other landscaping projects around campus rather than spending so much time emptying the trash bins, Cook said.

And it just looks better, he said. The crew was able to replace the eight bins in one location with two Big Belly compactors.  

The Russell House replacement will be the pilot program, as facilities looks to move the new bins to other locations on campus, Cook said. The other 40 trash cans will be repurposed to offer more recycling cans in other areas of campus for now.

Cook said he hopes these new bins also help improve recycling awareness on campus and make people think twice before throwing away recyclable items.

“This is a major step forward in access to recycling on campus and achieving the kind of clean, green campus we want,” he said. 

News and Internal Communications

Posted: 03/15/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 03/15/13 @ 4:39 PM | Permalink