Representatives of GFL Environmental, Inc. recently presented University of Central Missouri President Roger Best with a $10,000 check to fund campus community education on recycling and best practices.

GFL has managed solid waste and recycling operations for UCM since January 2023, including the recycling bins and boxes used daily by students, faculty and staff.

One significant challenge to the efficiency and safety of the operation is the improper use of recycling bins. Contamination is the biggest issue impacting successful recycling practices today. When people throw in items they shouldn’t, such as grease-soaked cardboard, plastic bags or paint cans, it disrupts the recycling process.

“When we spot-check these containers, we often find them filled with black plastic bags of trash and grocery plastic bags. These items are tough on our machinery because they get caught in the sprockets, wheels and belts, causing significant damage,” said Jason Fetters, GFL regional sales manager and UCM alum (’02). “Hopefully, this will help educate the student body so that recyclable containers are not contaminated, allowing us to divert them from the landfill.”

Tom Coffman of GFL added that the campus education program will begin soon, and he hopes it will help students understand not only the benefits of recycling but also the hazards of improperly using recycling bins.

To learn more about acceptable materials for recycling, visit


About the University of Central Missouri

With its main campus in Warrensburg, in addition to academic opportunities at the UCM Lee's Summit at Missouri Innovation Campus, the University of Central Missouri is a comprehensive state institution that serves more than 13,000 students, many of them from out-of-state and across the globe. Helping students to “redefine what’s possible,” UCM offers affordable tuition, prestigious and varied academic programs, and faculty members who are dedicated to their success. While benefiting from a support team of mentors, advisors, counselors, classmates,friends and professors, students not only leave UCM well prepared for the job market, but for life, having access to hundreds of opportunities beyond the classroom. Learn more at

In the photo: From left to right, back row: Mike Martin and Tom Coffman of GFL Environmental. Front row, left to right: Bob Walla, UCM procurement and materials management director, UCM President Roger Best and Jason Fetterman, GFL Environmental regional sales manager.

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