Baylor More Than Doubles Amount Recycled During National Competition

April 17, 2008
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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 now ranks 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. Per capita, or the amount of recyclables per person on campus, was 11.4 this year compared to 6.7 last year, which exceeded 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. "We need to be good stewards of the resources we have been given. It makes no sense to put material in a landfill when we can send the same material to the recycling facility. I am proud of what we were able to accomplish."

On Feb. 1, Baylor started a major new recycling initiative. The initial phase placed 145 blue recycling containers in every campus residence hall that will take nearly every recyclable item, such as paper, colored paper, plastics, aluminum and tin. The containers are "single stream," meaning students do not have to sort the different items. The sorting is completed at Sunbright Disposal Services, a local processing plant.

As the recycling initiative expands, recycle bins will be placed in Baylor offices and public places around campus like the libraries, Bill Daniel Student Center and the McLane Student Life Center. 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.

The new recycling initiative also will impact Baylor's bottom line. If the projected recycling numbers are met after all the bins have been placed, Baylor will save approximately $1,200 per month on landfill fees. In addition, Sunbright will pay Baylor about $1,100 per month for its recycled goods, meaning total savings could be nearly $2,500 per month, or more than $27,000 per year.

For more information, contact Pattie Orr at (254) 710-3200.

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