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Sustainability Facts

Northwest is a long standing member of The Missouri Recycling Association "MORA" and The College and University Recycling Coalition "CURC", as well as an active EPA WasteWise Partner.

Last year’s waste diversion efforts saved Northwest a total of $19,062 in landfill fees, and generated revenues totaling over $25,000 (recouping more than 75% of University landfill costs). 

In 2012-13 Northwest landfilled a total of 1,119,670 lbs. of solid waste, an 11% decrease from the previous year.

EPA estimates that each pound of landfilled solid waste creates .94 lbs. of greenhouse gas, primarily methane.  By diverting 307 metric tons from the landfill in FY13, Northwest reduced CO2 emissions equal to burning 165 tons of coal.

The total waste generated on campus last year was 1,842,402 lbs., a 3.4% reduction from 2011-12.  Expanded recycling and composting on campus brought the University’s overall waste diversion rate from 33% in 2011-12 to 39% in 2012-13. 

From August 2011 through December 2013, Northwest's compost program diverted 536,000 lbs. of food service organics from the landfill, saving more than $14,000 in landfill cost.  According to US EPA "More than 36 million tons of food waste was generated in 2011, 96% of which was thrown away into landfills or incinerators."

In order to promote recycling and better utilize current infrastructure, Northwest has adopted a color coded labeling system for campus waste and recycling.  With nearly 200 recycling stations already on campus (some as many as 20 years old), the new color coding effort has become part of a larger bin refurbish program that renews each unit for less than 10% of replacement cost.

In support of the University’s waste diversion efforts, the Landscape Services Hardscape Team has built and/or repurposed equipment to minimize program costs.  These include a windrow turner, cart tipper, a mixing wagon, and even an in-house Materials Recovery Facility.  The current success of our program would not be possible without this innovative approach to managing our costs.

Northwest Missouri State University Department of Landscape & Sustainability received the 2013 Missouri State Recycling Annual Award in recognition of ther outstanding contribution to the students and citizens of Missouri.  At a ceremony with Govenor Jay Nixon, the staff was recognized by the Missouri State Senate for their outstanding efforts.

For the FY14 academic year Northwest has set a total diversion goal of 40%, and to generate enough revenue through expanded recycling to offset all University landfill costs. A comprehensive materials and waste management planning program is underway in an effort to determine the right path to Zero Waste.  Every effort is being made to utilize the financial returns on recycling to fund this program’s development.

The University first began collecting wastepaper for conversion into alternative fuel for the Power Plant in 1993.  In 2013 Northwest’s Pellet Plant (Country Club and Northwest Drive) collected and processed more than 1 million lbs. of paper from around northwest Missouri for the production of alternative fuel. From wood chips to animal waste pellets, Northwest has been a recognized leader in alternative energy production for more than 30 yrs.