Artley Recycling on Campus

Artley Recycling on Campus

Tracy Artley, MPH '03, had every intention of working in public health when she finished her SPH degree. But a student job with the Washtenaw County Solid Waste Program prompted her to apply for a post with the UM Plant Department after graduation, and ever since then Artley has been the university's recycling coordinator. "I love the job so much," says the former environmental health sciences student, who points out that since public health had its origins in sanitation, she's carrying on a venerable tradition.

One of Artley's main responsibilities is Michigan's annual spring Move-Out, when students across campus and around Ann Arbor clear out their rooms and apartments and donate thousands of items to local nonprofits such as Food Gatherers and the Salvation Army. Artley and her colleagues collect and sort the goods—a task that has them out in trucks and vans by five a.m. for most of an exhausting and exhilarating week. During the rest of the year, Artley works with the university's waste-management services to reduce UM's volume of trash and boost its recycling efforts through educational outreach, new program development, and major events.

Here are some stats:

  • Tons of items donated by UM students during 2010 Move-Out: 9.91
  • Number of collection boxes placed in UM dorms and buildings during the two weeks of 2010 Move-Out: 300
  • Most frequently donated food item during 2010 Move-Out: Ramen noodles (Runner-up: single-serving microwavable soups)
  • Strangest item to turn up during 2010 Move-Out: A mustard-jar costume
  • Other 2010 Move-Out donations of note: Dartboards, sleds, lava lamps, teddy bears with break-up notes tucked inside, designer handbags
  • Tons of paper recycled at UM during 2009-2010 fiscal year: 2,012
  • Tons of beverage containers recycled at UM during 2009-2010 fiscal year: 209
  • Tons of trash generated at UM during 2009-2010 fiscal year: 5,672

For more on UM's recycling program visit