A-Z Index

News Release

Nov. 10, 2023

Northwest calling on community to participate in America Recycles Day

Northwest Missouri State University is encouraging community members to “pitch in” at its Recycling Center and join the Environmental Protection Agency in recognizing the importance of impact and recycling during America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

America Recycles Day calls on organizations to help create a stronger, more resilient and cost-effective recycling system. By doing so, communities can help decrease greenhouse gas emissions by reducing energy consumption. At the same time, using recycled materials to make new products reduces the need to use raw materials, avoiding emissions caused by mining and allowing resources to be used more efficiently while reducing impacts on the climate.

The Northwest Recycling Center accepts plastics, aluminum, mixed paper, cardboard and glass. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

The Northwest Recycling Center accepts plastics, aluminum, mixed paper, cardboard and glass. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

“The Recycling Center at Northwest is a tremendous asset for the entire region,” Tim Hill, the University’s environmental sustainability coordinator, said. “Recycling gives new life to valuable resources that otherwise would be used once and then be sent to a landfill forever.”

Northwest has been a leader in recycling efforts in the Maryville community and beyond for decades.

During fiscal year 2023, Northwest collected nearly 829,000 pounds of recyclable materials with 71 percent of that number comprising cardboard and paper. Metal accounted for about 15 percent, and glass accounted for about 9 percent of that total, while plastic and aluminum products comprised the remainder. Additionally, during the last two years, Northwest has achieved a 58-percent diversion rate of recycled materials away from local landfills.

Furthermore, during its recent demolition of Phillips Hall and North Complex, Northwest, in partnership with its demolition contractor, diverted 781 tons of metal materials and 24,975 tons of concrete from area landfills, while sending just 629 tons of other materials to landfills. 

Northwest’s recycling operation began as a byproduct of its innovative biomass boiler plant during the early 1990s to reduce landfill waste by collecting and processing paper as a viable fuel source. At that time, Northwest turned recycled paper into pellets that could be used as an alternative fuel source in its boilers. Along with Northwest’s use of wood chips, it was one of the most innovative and cost-efficient methods for alternative fuel.

In 2020, however, Northwest closed its waste-to-energy paper pelletizing operation and converted the facility to a full-service Recycling Center, creating an opportunity to educate local residents about recycling while the University gained efficiencies within its sustainability operations.

The Recycling Center now collects and processes paper, cardboard, plastics, aluminum, steel and glass, in addition to conducting all waste hauling duties for the campus. The facility’s open warehouse bay allows community members to drive inside the facility, where staff can assist and educate patrons about the process and value of recyclable materials.

As a result of its renewed recycling operation in 2020, Northwest’s landfill diversion ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 57 nationally in the annual Campus Race to Zero Waste competition. 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.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215