Alcoa and the universities of Evansville and Southern Indiana took part in a nationwide recycling contest, with great results for those institutions and the community:
The University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana recycled more than 67,000 pounds of material during the 8-week long RecycleMania contest, which was sponsored nationally by the Alcoa Foundation.
In total, 630 colleges and universities competed in the nationwide contest, which is meant to bolster on-campus recycling rates. This year, 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered during the challenge, which prevented the release of nearly 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from 53 million passenger cars.
Locally, Alcoa Warrick Operations encouraged the two universities in this challenge through the donation of recycling bins and a $1,500 prize to the school that performed the best on a per capita basis.
The University of Evansville won the local contest, collecting 15.45 pounds of waste for every student, compared to USI’s 5.64 pounds per student. The University of Evansville also finished first in the state of Indiana among the 10 Hoosier schools, and it also placed in the top tier of schools nationwide on a per capita basis, finishing 119th out of 630 schools.
“By building the first two LEED-certified buildings in Vanderburgh County, the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration Building and the Ridgway University Center, the University of Evansville has proven itself to be a community leader on issues of sustainability,” said UE President Thomas A. Kazee. “We’re proud to continue that role with our outstanding performance in RecycleMania.”
The University of Evansville also finished 29th as the Grand Champion – an achievement based on both source reduction and recycling.
The University of Southern Indiana won in one state-wide category to see which school could divert the largest amount of food service organics per person.
Todd Wilson, an assistant Vice President at USI , said the university increased its recycling during the RecycleMania program. “And we plan to keep up that trend year-round.”
“We’d like to offer our congratulations to UE on their win in the competition,” Wilson said. “But it’s a win-win-win for USI, UE, and the community, as less material went into the waste stream as a result.”
Paula Davis, President of the Alcoa Foundation, said the program was a great success nationally, encouraging tomorrow’s leaders to focus even more on sustainability and waste reduction.