JACKSON, Tenn. – June 4, 2009 – Union University’s recycling efforts earned the university recognition in the annual RecycleMania competition among 510 higher education institutions in the United States and Canada.
The program includes a competition division and a benchmark division, and Union entered the benchmark division to recycle paper, corrugated cardboard, bottles and cans. The University of Tennessee-Martin and Rhodes College were the only other Tennessee institutions to participate in the benchmark division.
This was Union’s first year to participate in the competition.
Union recycled a total of 19,366 pounds of material during the 10-week competition phase. The university ranked 13th out of private schools in the South in the paper benchmark division, and 19th in the corrugated cardboard category. Union recycled 4.17 pounds of paper per student on the Jackson campus.
Union’s campuswide recycling program began in January. James Williams in Union’s facilities management department oversees the program.
“Students have been incredibly pleased that we have a campuswide recycling program, even in the residential areas,” said Kimberly Thornbury, Union’s dean of students. “Participation has been great and the majority of students have easily adopted recycling into their daily life at Union.”
Thornbury said Union will continue to recycle paper, plastics cardboard and aluminum all year, but will enter the RecycleMania competition each spring.
“It gives us a helpful barometer to compare the volume of our recycled goods compared with other schools -- especially other schools our size,” she said.
RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. The competition began in February 2001.