University Hosts "RecyleMania" - Highlights Campus-wide Recycling Effort

Published: February 08, 2009 | Read Time: 3 minutes

Though the official colors of SUU remain solidly red and white, "green" is making its presence felt on campus in a big way. 

A slew of recent efforts by Southern Utah University to "go green" has students joining a host of university efforts to make the campus more effeicient and environmentally friendly. 
The SUU Student Association kicked off its efforts at the end of January with "RecycleMania," an event slated to run for 10 weeks. 

The recycling-based event pits SUU students against other colleges and universities in Utah and some 510 colleges and universities world-wide this year, a 25% increase over 2008. More significantly, the list of participating schools represents all 50 of the United States for the first time. Also for the first time the event includes schools outside the United States. 

SUU's student association will also be conducting a "Top 10 reasons to Recycle" and a recycling-based slogan contest. The winner of the competition will be announced on Earth Day in April. 

The RecycleMania competition is administered by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC), with program development and planning by a steering committee made up of collegiate recycling managers from participating universities. The competition is managed in conjunction with NRC's College and University Recycling Council (CURC), and is made possible with the sponsorship support from The Coca-Cola Company and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program. 

“RecycleMania helps students rethink their waste,” said Scott Vitters, Director of Sustainable Packaging at The Coca-Cola Company. “Coca-Cola is a proud sponsor of the RecycleMania program. Through the course of the competition, they learn to recognize that bottles, cans, cardboard, and paper are valuable recyclable materials.” 

Student Body President Jon McNaughton said of the event, "I think this is a timely and meaningful opportunity for all SUU students to become more aware of the world around them and to step up and make a contribution. SUUSA is truly pleased to be taking a lead in student-based state wide efforts to make recycling and environmentally friendly habits a behavior that will hopefully last a lifetime." 

McNaughton added, "I am proud to be a part of a campus where the students and faculty find things outside of the classroom to work on. I have been amazed as the student Association has pressed forward with their going green efforts to see that the campus community consisting of faculty and staff has also forged forward in an effort to promote sustainability." 

In its continuing effort to make green space and resource conservation a top priority in the design and expansion of campus, SUU recently completed the installation of thirty-five solar panels at the site of its new facilities management building and this past year alone has seen the addition of 80 new trees to the University's outdoor design and the fruition of a cutting-edge irrigation system along with the installation of low-flow utilities and area-appropriate foliage, saved the University 467,577 gallons of water per converted landscape last year. 

University Vice President for Finance and Facilities Dorian Page said, “The University is taking aggressive steps in its pursuit to lead the way in Southern Utah to reduce its impact on the environment while maximizing its resources. A Campus Sustainability Committee, consisting of students, faculty, staff and representatives from the city and community, met for the first time in January." The committee is chaired by Pete Heilgeist, Interim Purchasing Director. 

Page added, "Campuses that have already established recycling efforts are being pushed to the next level – sustainability. This plan includes more effective recycling efforts and adds the component of more efficient use of resources. The committee is looking to make a dramatic, rapid impact on this very important issue.” 

Additional information concerning Southern Utah University’s green initiatives is available upon request.

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