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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Jan. 31, 2014

State again recognizes Northwest with Annual Recycling Award

For the second time in three years the Missouri State Recycling Program has recognized Northwest Missouri State University as a leader in recycling and sustainability efforts with its 2013 Annual Recycling Award.

Northwest’s sustainability coordinator John Viau, Pellet Operator Derick Swaney and groundskeepers Steve Bliley and Kurt Davis will accept the award on Northwest’s behalf from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon during a Feb. 10 ceremony at the capitol in Jefferson City.

Northwest earned the award for its successful initiative to repurpose used materials in order to enhance its recycling operations and for its composting program.

“Northwest submitted a thorough nomination that demonstrated continual improvement to the University’s recycling efforts,” Missouri Recycling Coordinator Rob Didriksen wrote in a letter notifying Northwest of the award. 

Northwest incorporated a mixed material baler into its recycling operations. Members of its Facility Services team modified the baler to include a conveyor, hopper and loading system. They even incorporated discarded poles from the University’s old emergency call stations as legs for the hopper.

Northwest launched its composting program in 2011 by collecting food waste discarded at Campus Dining locations. University staff members again fabricated much of the composting equipment with salvaged items on the campus, including a retired feed wagon.

Since the composting program’s inception, Northwest has diverted more than 500,000 pounds of food organics from the landfill, creating a nutrient-rich compost soil supplement used extensively across the campus grounds, which are designated the Missouri Arboretum, and its greenhouse.

“This award signifies our team’s continuing ability to go above and beyond to improve efficiency, reduce costs and maximize available resources,” Viau said. “These efforts have led to a steady reduction in our waste to the landfill, reduced costs and, most importantly, demonstrate how an effective recycling program can be implemented and expanded through hard work and ingenuity.”

Each year the State Recycling Program accepts nominations for the Annual Recycling Award. Employees, departments or agencies are eligible to be nominated for outstanding contributions in a series of recycling collection, waste or recycled content procurement. Members of the Missouri Interagency Recycling Committee Review the nominations and select an organization for the award as well as an individual award winner.

Northwest received the 2011 Annual Recycling Award for its efforts to establish a community recycling project with the city of Maryville that extended Northwest’s glass and paper recycling program to local residents. Northwest staff members designed and built custom collection containers that are stationed throughout the community. To date, that project has diverted more than 45 tons of paper and 20 tons of glass.

Northwest’s tradition of sustainability and recycling dates back to 1982 when the University established a biomass energy system utilizing wood chips under then-President Dr. B.D. Owens. During the 1990s, Northwest enhanced its energy program by adding discarded newspaper, corrugated and cardboard boxes, magazines and other clean paper products to its alternative fuel processes. In 2001, Northwest began using animal waste from its farm to create a virtually odor-free pellet that is burned as fuel. Additionally, Northwest recycles plastic, aluminum, glass, copper, brass and steel it collects on campus.

During 2013, Northwest produced 921 tons of solid waste on campus and diverted nearly 40 percent of that material from the landfill. Northwest also partnered with surrounding communities and local industries to divert paper and cardboard from the landfill through the University’s alternative fuel pelletizing operation, collecting and diverting 499 tons of paper from the landfill. 

Northwest’s solid waste diversion amounted to $17,500 in savings for the University, while the recycling program generated $25,820 in revenue, covering 85 percent of the University’s total landfill expenses.  

In addition to its recycling efforts, Northwest was recognized last spring as one of the nation’s top energy-reducing schools based on results of the 2013 Campus Conservation Nationals.

For more information about recycling and sustainability at Northwest, click here.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468