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News Release

May 9, 2024

Northwest places first in competition to reduce campus waste

Northwest Missouri State University topped other colleges and universities throughout the nation this spring when it came to recycling electronic items.

The final results of the 2024 Campus Race to Zero Waste competition show Northwest placed first in the category of Electronics Recycling Per Capita by recycling 3.9 pounds per capita and submitting a total of 20,343 pounds, which amounts to more than 10 tons. The items included batteries, lamps, televisions, monitors, laptops and other computer equipment.

Northwest began participating in the annual competition in 2005 to raise awareness about campus recycling and waste reduction.



“We were delighted to receive notification of our first-place finish in the Electronics Per Capita Recycling Category, particularly because this was the first time we participated in that category," said Tim Hill, Northwest's sustainability coordinator. "Even more importantly, we kept more than 10 tons of potentially hazardous e-waste out of the landfill.”

In other categories, Northwest ranked No. 32 in waste diversion with a rate of 38.3 percent and No. 47 in minimizing food waste.

Northwest joined more than 2.7 million college students and employees throughout the country in the eight-week competition to reduce campus waste footprints. Collectively, colleges and universities kept more than 105 million single-use plastic containers out of landfills and prevented the release of 23,174 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere – equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 5,515 cars. Higher education institutions donated composted and recycled a total of more than 30.7 million pounds of waste.

“This year’s college and university competition participants made enormous strides on waste reduction and integrating sustainable practices throughout their campuses,” Kristy Jones, the director of higher education programs at National Wildlife Federation, said. “These collective actions to reduce the schools’ waste footprints are inspiring and are making a tangible positive impact on the environment.”

Formerly known as RecycleMania, Campus Race to Zero Waste is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities. It is managed by National Wildlife Federation and governed by RecycleMania Inc. Campus Race to Zero Waste has been helping campuses minimize waste and improve their recycling efforts, since its launch in 2001.

Participating colleges and universities reported the amount of waste and recycling they collected each week. Participating institutions were then ranked in various categories based on the amount they recycled per capita as well as recycling rates. The competition categories included food organics, electronics recycling and percent of waste diverted from the landfill.


Dr. Mark Hornickel
Administration Building
Room 215