Trinity University, San Antonio | News Release



CONTACT: Susie P. Gonzalez

Oct. 12, 2009


Trinity University Earns Two First-Place Finishes in Recycling Competition among Texas Colleges


Members of Trinity’s chapter of Students Organized for Sustainability hold certificates recognizing their accomplishments in on-campus recycling. Pictured from left are Lauren Carroll, Erica Heller, Drew De Los Santos, Libby Day, and Eric Elliott.

SAN ANTONIO – Trinity University is a leader among 27 Texas colleges and universities that took part in the 2009 RecycleMania competition. Trinity won first-place awards in two categories that encourage colleges to limit food waste and to collect plastic bottles and aluminum cans. Trinity placed second in the category of cardboard recycling and took a third-place finish in the waste minimization category.


The awards reflect a collaborative spirit toward recycling by students in Trinity’s 16 residence halls as well as faculty members and staff working in academic and administrative buildings. “This was our second year to participate,” said Sharon Curry, systems report writer for Trinity’s Physical Plant and a coordinator of the campus RecycleMania program. This year, Trinity entered the competition division, which required following strict standards and expanding to all university buildings. In 2008, the competition was limited to residence halls only.


Libby Day ’12, an urban studies major from Scottsdale, Ariz., served as the student organizer for the campaign. “Organizing RecycleMania for the entire campus, not just the dorms, was a lot of work but entirely worth it. It’s eye-opening for students to have their efforts recognized and we thank everyone who helped make that possible.”


Ms. Day is a member of Students Organized for Sustainability, which also encouraged student participation in RecycleMania and coordinated collection and composting efforts by Physical Plant workers.


In the national RecycleMania competition, organizers said a total of 69.4 million pounds of material was recycled or composted by 510 schools from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Across the nation, the effort involved 4.7 million students and 1.1 million faculty and staff. The competition took place during a 10-week period earlier this year. 


Statistics for the 27 Texas schools taking part in RecycleMania were announced by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling during a recycling summit in Galveston.


The category for “targeted material – bottles and cans” included plastic, aluminum, and glass containers, although Ms. Curry said Trinity employees do not collect glass items. A student-led effort to recycle glass was factored into the ranking, she added. Trinity measured 2 pounds of bottles and cans per person during the contest period, she said, adding, “Plastic is our top commodity.”


In the school’s other first-place finish, “targeted material – food service organics,” Trinity reported recycling or composting 1.33 pounds of food per person during the competition period. Most of that food was placed in Earth Tubs by employees with Aramark, the University’s contract dining services provider, which composts kitchen scraps at Mabee Dining Hall and the Commons at the Coates University Center.   


In the area of cardboard recycling, Trinity placed second with an average of 5.44 pounds of recycled corrugated cardboard per person on campus. Cardboard is collected and baled by Physical Plant workers before being redistributed off campus.


 The University was ranked third in waste minimization, an effort to produce the least amount of solid waste, including both recyclables and trash, per person. “With waste minimization, we look at every ounce of garbage that comes off the campus,” said Ms. Curry. “We are trying to keep that number low. That is, before you recycle, you try to reduce. Waste minimization is one of the key points of the President’s Climate Commitment that Dr. (John R.) Brazil (Trinity’s president) signed.”


Trinity already is signed up to participate in the 2010 round of RecycleMania.



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