Trees are breathing a little easier, thanks to eager participation in West Virginia University’s revamped paper recycling program.

The amount of paper recycled on campus last month nearly doubled that previously spared from landfills, and program coordinator Barbara Angeletti encourages employees and students to keep up the good work.

“The program is markedly improving, and it’s because all of the people involved are doing their part,”she said.

American Fiber Resources in Fairmont, where WVU ’s recycled paper goes, accepted 14,304 poundsalmost 7 tonsof paper during December, Angeletti said. WVU recycled between 4 and 5 tons of paper a month prior to revising the program, Angeletti said.

December’s recycling figures are especially encouraging given that there were only three pickups because of the Christmas break, she noted. BFI normally transports the recycled paper to AFR twice a week.

Under new guidelines issued last month, all paper except tissues and paper containing food waste can go in the plastic blue recycling bins around campus. Previously, paper had to be sorted, often causing confusion that resulted in recyclable paper ending in the trash instead.

Angeletti said the entire program is dependent upon a process: Consumers must place the paper in the blue bins, custodians must keep the paper separate from the trash and get it to the outside bins, and BFI must collect and transport the paper to AFR .

“If only one step in the process breaks down, the whole process fails, and it is important for people to know that the process is working,”she said.