Montgomery County Community College’s efforts to cut waste over the last decade have propelled it to the top of the score sheet in RecycleMania’s 2015 competition. In the category of waste minimization, the College ranked first among higher education institutions in Pennsylvania, fifth among public two-year colleges nationally, and sixth overall among all colleges and universities in the country, making it the College’s most successful RecycleMania finish in eight years of competition.
RecycleMania’s Waste Minimization category measures an institution’s total waste—trash and recycling collected during the eight-week competition—and divides it by the number of students, faculty and staff on campus to calculate the amount of waste per person. The College collected only 8.395 pounds of waste per capita—almost half of the per capita amount collected in 2014.
“Less waste per capita means that our efforts to educate the campus community about the importance of reducing and reusing, in addition to recycling, are paying off,” said Jaime Garrido, associate vice president for facilities and construction at MCCC. “For example, the College invested in water filling stations that have eliminated more than 108,000 plastic bottles from recycling or waste streams over the past three years—that’s close to 14 miles of plastic bottles!”
In addition to waste minimization, RecycleMania also ranks institutions according to volume and percentage of recycling collected during the competition.
In the Per Capita Classic category, MCCC finished 17th in Pennsylvania, with 1.884 pounds of recycling per capita. This positioned the College as 20th among two-year institutions nationally, and 289th overall.
In the Grand Champion category, MCCC scored a 22.447 percent cumulative recycling rate, positioning it 13th in Pennsylvania, 16th among two-year institutions nationally, and 175th overall.
The College collected a cumulative 17,960 pounds of recycling, ranking it 15th in Pennsylvania, 20th among two-year institutions nationally, and 274th overall in the Gorilla Prize category.
RecycleMania is an eight-week nationwide competition, held Feb. 1 through March 28, during which colleges and universities competed to see who could reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste. MCCC has participated for eight consecutive years.
Nationally, 390 institutions recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere. According to the U.S. EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM), MCCC’s recycling efforts during the competition resulted in a greenhouse gas reduction of 33 MTCO2E, which translates to the energy consumption of three households or the emissions of six cars.
Montgomery County Community College was among the first institutions in the country 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.
To learn more about the College’s Sustainability Initiative, visit check out more from the Think Green blog.
To learn more about RecycleMania or to view the full list of results, visit recyclemaniacs.org.
~ by Alana J. Mauger