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Jan. 30, 2012
Northwest Missouri State University will aim to prove its recycling prowess against other colleges and universities again this year when the 2012 RecycleMania competition kicks off Sunday, Feb. 5.
The eight-week competition pits college campuses in a friendly competition to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.
The University began participating in the contest in 2005 and is repeatedly recognized by the Missouri Recycling Association and the state of Missouri as an outstanding RecycleMania participant. Last year, Northwest’s recycling efforts diverted more than 55 tons of cans, bottles and food service organics from campus.
“It’s a great way for students to get involved, show their school spirit and compete in a program that makes a difference for their future,” Northwest Sustainability Coordinator John Viau said. “Whether in industry, government or education, being ‘green’ is more important now than ever. Our goal is to help every student, regardless of their major, be prepared for what lies ahead.”
Added Nancy Baxter, a longtime member of the Northwest’s recycling committee, “The RecycleMania competition is a great opportunity to see how Northwest measures up in its recycling endeavors.”
The rules are simple, Viau said. Get your recyclables to a bin and help Northwest win.
Each day, the University’s hardscape team collects recyclables from bins throughout the Northwest campus and weighs them at the Northwest Pellet Plant. The totals are reported to RecycleMania through a database utilized by the Environmental Protection Agency and other entities to measure recycling efforts across the country.
About Northwest’s recycling and sustainability efforts
Northwest has long been a leader in recycling efforts in the Maryville community and beyond, establishing a paper collection program in 1993 that turns the recycled materials into an alternative fuel at its boiler plant. In 2011, Northwest’s Pellet Plant processed more than 1,100 tons of mixed paper from campus, surrounding communities and local industry that was used for Northwest’s energy needs.
In November, Northwest received the 2011 Annual Recycling Award from the Missouri State Recycling Program for the community recycling project it helped establish with the city of Maryville.
Additionally, Northwest’s recently launched composting program has collected more than 76,000 pounds of compost material – collected from food waste discarded at its Campus Dining locations – since the beginning of the school year. A new student organization, Students Taking Action at Northwest for Developing Sustainability (S.T.A.N.D.S.), organized the first “Greeks Go Green” recycling competition in October and helped divert more than 8,100 pounds of recyclable materials from the local landfill over the four-week contest.
For more information about recycling and sustainability at Northwest, click here.
Launched in 2001, RecycleMania began as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami University in Ohio to increase recycling on their campuses. The contest has grown rapidly during the last decade, and 630 colleges and universities spanning 49 states, Canada and the United Kingdom competed in last year’s contest.
Last year, 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which prevented the release of nearly 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). That reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 25,000 passenger cars, electricity use of more than nearly 15,500 homes, or the burning of nearly 695 railcars’ worth of coal.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
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Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468