May 27, 2008
Baylor University took a major step forward in its sustainability initiatives during Recyclemania, a national competition among colleges and universities to see who can recycle the most material in a 10-week period. Baylor more than doubled the amount of recycled material collected for Recyclemania compared to last year's total.
As a result of the substantial increase, Baylor's national rank jumped to No. 65 out of the 200 universities that participated in Recyclemania. In the Big 12, Baylor moved up to third in the amount of material it recycles.
Baylor collected more than 96 tons of recyclable materials during the competition, which was a remarkable 53 tons more than last year. The University recycled 11.4 pounds per person on campus this year (compared to 6.7 pounds last year), exceeding Baylor's goal of 10 pounds per person.
"These results show the tremendous progress that can be made when students, faculty and staff work toward a common goal," said Pattie Orr, vice president for information technology and dean of university libraries at Baylor, who acts as the University Sustainability committee coordinator.
Baylor started a new major recycling initiative in February. The initial phase placed 145 blue recycling containers in campus residence halls. The containers are "single stream," meaning students do not have to sort the different items.
As the recycling initiative expands, recycle bins will be placed in Baylor offices and public places around campus. Estimates show that Baylor could triple the amount it currently recycles, from 160 tons per year to more than 500 tons, once all the recycle bins are in place.
If the projected recycling numbers are met, Baylor could shed nearly $15,000 in yearly landfill fees and receive approximately $12,000 from Sunbright Disposal Services for Baylor's recycled goods, with total savings exceeding $27,000 a year.
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