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Going green: Union is tops again in national recycling competition



Students sift through trash during last year's trash audit, one of the many events on campus that teaches students about recycling. (Christen Gowan/Communications)
Students sift through trash during last year's trash audit, one of the many events on campus that teaches students about recycling. (Christen Gowan/Communications)

Union took home top honors again this year in Recyclemania, a collegiate recycling competition to promote campus involvement in green initiatives. 

The College won two first place awards: one in the Per Capita category and another in the Cardboard category. Students collected 61.79 pounds of recyclables per student on campus, the most of any college in the country. About 30 pounds per person of corrugated cardboard was gathered, garnering Union top honors in that category as well. 

Contest organizers estimated that Union’s recycling efforts saved 161 metric tons of carbon dioxide output; the equivalent of taking 86 cars off the road or the energy consumption of 42 households. 

"We are all very excited to come out on top again in this national competition,” said Jeff Corbin, assistant professor of biology and faculty co-chair for the U-Sustain committee. “It is a testament to the environmental community that we have created here on campus.” 

Corbin also credited the Facilities Department for creating the infrastructure on campus to foster a recycling culture. Laura MacManus-Spencer, assistant professor of chemistry, is U-Sustain’s other faculty co-chair.

“We’re doing an excellent job at recycling when compared to our peer institutions,” said Kyle Lanzit ’13, the committee’s student co-chair. “We need to be proud of Union's sustainability efforts and keep improving.” 

To see the results from all 605 colleges and universities nationwide, click here.