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CONTACT:  Susie P. Gonzalez 

April 28, 2008



Trinity University RecycleMania Waste Minimization Effort Ranked Fifth in the U.S.


A Trinity student prepares for Earth Day events at Trinity University.

SAN ANTONIO – The “green” movement has hit Trinity University students, who have formed a group called S.O.S. (Students Organized for Sustainability) and actively worked to reduce waste and promote recycling, earning a fifth-place finish in a national recycling competition.


The student recyclers took part in RecycleMania, a green effort supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Wise Program and the National Recycling Coalition. The recycling category that students chose for Trinity was “waste minimization,” a practice of producing the least amount of waste by weighing the combination of trash and recyclables and calculating the per-capita total during a 10-week period. Trinity ranked No. 5 in the competition with an overall 43.15 cumulative waste in terms of pounds per person, only three pounds short of ranking fourth.


Molly Ellis, a Trinity sophomore from Dallas who served on the President’s Sustainability Task Force, headed up the campus competition and recruited students as well as the University’s physical plant staff and dining services personnel. She described herself as a “recycling maniac” and added, “The more I learn, the more active toward the environment I become.”


To help generate excitement and awareness about recycling, the S.O.S. group handed out decorative pins made from bottle caps found in recycling bins around campus and offered cookies donated by ARAMARK, the dining services contractor on campus. In addition, junior Kendall Morris of Houston donned a gorilla suit and stood next to senior Brian Haney of Austin wearing a sign that described the rules of the competition. Also, for the last eight of the 10 weeks, S.O.S. held an in-house resident hall against residence hall waste minimization competition, and a winner was recognized every two weeks.


After Trinity President John R. Brazil signed the President’s Commitment to Climate Change in 2007, the sustainability task force was formed and students began brainstorming ways to bring environmentally friendly practices to Trinity.  For the RecycleMania competition, the campus physical plant staffers purchased a new scale to measure the waste.  


In the national RecycleMania competition, Trinity ranked behind Northwest State Community College, Archbold, Ohio; Naropa University, Boulder, Colo.; Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Md.; and Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, and ahead of the University of Wyoming and Washington State University, among others.



© 2008 Trinity University

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