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Northwest Missouri State University

News Release

Jan. 12, 2012

State recognizes Northwest with Annual Recycling Award

Updated Jan. 17, 2012

Left to right, Northwest Sustainability Coordinator John Viau, Gov. Jay Nixon and Landscape Services Associate Director Lezlee Johnson pose for a photo with the 2011 Annual Recycling Award Nixon presented to Northwest.

Left to right, Northwest Sustainability Coordinator John Viau, Gov. Jay Nixon and Landscape Services Associate Director Lezlee Johnson pose for a photo with the 2011 Annual Recycling Award Nixon presented to Northwest. (Photo provided by the Office of the Governor.)

Northwest Missouri State University, which established itself long ago as an innovator in alternative fuels, is now reaping recognition for its recycling and sustainability efforts.

The University recently received a 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 was recognized for its participation in the national Recyclemania! competition to promote recycling.

Northwest’s Sustainability Coordinator John Viau and Landscape Services Associate Director Lezlee Johnson, who serves on Northwest’s recycling committee, accepted the award on Northwest’s behalf from Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon during a Nov. 29 ceremony at the capitol in Jefferson City. Northwest recognized the awards during an on-campus ceremony Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the J.W. Jones Student Union Boardroom.

“It’s important to recognize the ongoing contribution of our Environmental Services staff as they continue to promote and support Maryville’s recycling efforts,” Viau said. “This has been another important step in the University’s effort to minimize its own environmental impact, support our community and work toward student success – every student, every day.”

The partnership of Northwest and Maryville, “Reduce Your Paw Print: Taking it to the Community,” extended Northwest’s glass and paper recycling program to Maryville residents. Northwest staff members designed and built four custom collection containers that are stationed throughout the community, and a fifth drop-off site has been added since the program began last February. 

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 is the first university to receive the organization award.

“Northwest has a long-standing tradition of outstanding contributions to waste reduction and recycling and we applaud you for your continued efforts,” Rob Didriksen, of the Missouri State Recycling Program, wrote in a letter notifying Northwest of the award. 

Since implementing a paper collection program in 1993, Northwest has used an on-campus pelletizing process 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 addition to paper pellet production and wood fuel processing, the Pellet Plant serves as the central location for the University’s waste diversion and recycling efforts.

This school year, led by the efforts of Viau, Johnson and others, Northwest’s recycling and sustainability efforts have continued to gain momentum. In November, the University unveiled a second recycling drop-off site on its campus, located off Ninth Street just east of the Valk Center. Northwest students also formed a new organization, Students Taking Action at Northwest for Developing Sustainability (S.T.A.N.D.S.), and organized the first “Greeks Go Green” recycling competition, which diverted more than 8,100 pounds of recyclable materials from the local landfill over the four-week contest.

With input and guidance from Northwest’s Department of Agriculture, the University also launched a composting program that has collected more than 76,000 pounds of compost material since the beginning of the school year. Northwest collects food waste discarded at its Campus Dining locations and mixes it with other compost materials, which it then uses in flower beds and at the University farm, among other uses.

Additionally, the Sierra Club recently ranked Northwest at No. 74 on its 2011 list of “cool schools,” which surveys four-year institutions about their environmental goals and achievements. At No. 75, the University of Missouri-Columbia was the only other Missouri school on the list.

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

For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

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