National Initiative Focuses on Importance of Recycling

by Alana J. Mauger

For the fifth consecutive year, Montgomery County Community College will participate in RecycleMania, an eight-week nationwide contest during which colleges and universities compete to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste. The 2012 RecycleMania tournament runs from Feb. 5 through April 6.

This year, for the first time, the College qualifies to compete in RecycleMania’s Competition Division based on the way its waste materials are collected and measured. Previously, the College participated in the contest’s Benchmark Division.

Each week the College’s facilities team will collect and weighs recyclable materials – including paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum and plastics #1-7 – and will enter the totals into RecycleMania’s database.

In 2011, the College’s West and Central campuses ranked second and third in Pennsylvania for their cumulative recycling rates of 38.64 percent and 34.68 percent, respectively. When compared to Benchmark Division institutions nationally, the West Campus ranked 27th in the country and the Central Campus ranked 33rd.

Nationally, 630 colleges and universities from across the county recovered 91 million pounds of recyclable material in 2011. This prevented the release of more than 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere.

Montgomery County Community College was among the first institutions to sign American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) in 2007. The College’s sustainability efforts are led by a team of faculty, students, administrators, support staff, alumni and community members that comprise the President’s Climate Commitment Advisory Council.

In recognition of its deep commitment to sustainability, MCCC was one of only five institutions in the country to earn a 2011 Award for Institutional Excellence in Climate Leadership from Second Nature.

RecycleMania, Inc. is governed by a steering committee made up of collegiate recycling managers from participating institutions. The competition is managed by Keep America Beautiful, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program and the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC). Sponsors include The Coca-Cola Company, Waste Management, SCA Tissue, Alcoa, America Forest & Paper Association and HP.

For information on the national effort, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org.

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