Baylor Wins Awards for Sustainability Efforts

May 7, 2010

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Baylor University's sustainability initiatives have led to several awards in recent weeks, including the Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) first-place award for college programs; second place in the RecycleMania's Big 12 per capita classic competition; second place in Big 12 waste minimization competition; and third place overall in the Big 12 grand champion division.

The first-place award from KTB acknowledges deserving civic organizations, senior citizens, community groups, individuals, media, government entities and law enforcement officials for their commitment to litter prevention and cleanup, education and publicity of environmental issues, illegal dumping enforcement and community beautification.

"The KTB Awards are our way of recognizing the efforts made by individuals and groups to enhance their community through our focus areas of beautification, litter prevention, waste reduction and recycling to protect the Lone Star State's environment," said Cathie Gail, executive director for KTB and coordinator for this year's awards. "They are an important way of publicizing hard work and environmental stewardship in all segments of our society."

KTB has nine award categories and Baylor was nominated for the college programs award, which is a part of the Civic Organization Leadership Awards. Sherri Street, executive director of Keep Waco Beautiful, said she nominated Baylor because the university met its goal of 200,000 recycled bottles at athletic events, which was accomplished during the football season alone.

In her nomination letter, Street noted Baylor's participation in Keep McLennan County Beautiful's Tire Recycle Day, gardening at local historic homes for Historic Waco Foundation, Recyclemania, the "Last Out, Lights Out" initiative and special cleanups of Waco's water sources.

"In litter prevention efforts, Baylor's sustainability committee encouraged students to participate in local waterway cleanup, like Keep Waco Beautiful's Lake Waco Cleanup, Brazos River Cleanup and drainage ditch cleanups," Street wrote in the letter. "This resulted more than 1,000 student volunteers at these events."

Baylor and other award winners will be recognized during the 43rd Annual Keep Texas Beautiful Conference, June 21-24 in Austin.

"This is a huge honor and a great thing for Baylor," said Smith Getterman, sustainability coordinator for Baylor. "It is more evidence that our commitment to being good stewards of God's earth is making a difference in the world around. It also shows the rest of the state, and the world, that Baylor is on the vanguard of making positive contributions to our natural environment and surrounding communities."

Baylor also won awards in the RecycleMania 2010 competition, featuring more than 600 colleges and universities that worked together to recycle more than 84 million pounds of material during the course of 10 weeks. Baylor finished second in the Big12 division for the per capita classic competition, based on which school could collect the largest amount of acceptable recyclables per person. Baylor also finished second place in the Big 12 waste minimization competition, which schools competed to produce the least amount of municipal solid waste, including recyclables and trash, per person. Overall, Baylor was awarded third place in the Big 12 grand champion division.

"This RecycleMania award combined with the Keep Texas Beautiful Award, really speaks to what sort of recognition and accomplishments can be achieved with our new sustainability policy in place," Getterman said.

A full list of winners and award descriptions, as well as information about the conference, can be found at the KTB website: www.ktb.org.

by Lillyan Baker, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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