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As a leader in recycling and sustainability efforts, Northwest is again participating in the national Campus Race to Zero Waste competition this spring. The University's Recycling Center (above) accepts plastics, aluminum, mixed paper, cardboard and glass. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

As a leader in recycling and sustainability efforts, Northwest is again participating in the national Campus Race to Zero Waste competition this spring. The University's Recycling Center (above) accepts plastics, aluminum, mixed paper, cardboard and glass. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Jan. 22, 2021

Northwest calling for campus participation in recycling competition

By Edidiong Idong-Bassey, communication assistant


In efforts to reduce waste and raise sustainability levels on campus Northwest Missouri State University will again partake in the annual Campus Race to Zero Waste competition.

The Campus Race to Zero Waste, formerly known as RecycleMania, provides an opportunity for universities throughout the nation to participate in friendly competition with other colleges and universities for the common goal of reducing waste through recycling and food waste composting.

The competition, which starts Saturday, Jan. 31, is an eight-week charge involving more than 600 colleges in the United States and Canada to report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week. Participating institutions are then ranked in various categories based on the amount they recycle per capita, as well as their recycling rate of total waste and by generating the least amount of combined trash and recycling.

“Among participating schools within the state of Missouri, Northwest ranked second-place in landfill diversion from 2015 to 2019 and in first place for the 2020 competition period,” Dan Haslag, assistant vice president of facility services, said. “Our goal is to achieve the top ranking in diversion for the second consecutive year.” 

In addition, Northwest has implemented initiatives to reduce carbon emission levels and footprints. These practices include the installation of LED lighting, low-flow restroom fixtures, bottle-filling stations, energy conservation via building automated controls and the Missouri Arboretum.

Northwest has been a leader in recycling efforts in the Maryville community and beyond for decades. Since 2016, Northwest’s recycling revenue has offset landfill costs with annual collection averages amounting to 1.6 million pounds of cardboard; 300,000 pounds of paper; 208,500 pounds of organics; 115,000 pounds of plastic and 4,500 pounds of aluminum. Northwest’s diversion rate of recycled materials away from local landfills has reached a level of 46 percent.

Northwest also is a three-time winner of the Missouri State Recycling Program’s Annual Recycling Award, claiming the honor in 2011, 2013 and 2014.


Media contact:

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