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Loyola recycles 100,000 pounds of waste during RecycleMania competition

| By Nick Alexopulos
Loyola University Maryland recycling composting landfill
Recycling, composting, and landfill bins in the Andrew White Student Center.

Building on an already strong campus-wide commitment to sustainability, Loyola University Maryland recycled 99,715 pounds of waste during the nationwide RecycleMania competition among colleges and universities in February-March 2015.

The recycled plastics, paper, and metal accounted for nearly 15 pounds of recycling for every Loyola student and employee. More than 5,200 pounds of food waste was composted. The total waste reduction is 168 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, equal to the emissions of 33 cars or the energy consumption of 15 households. These waste reduction levels are typical results of Loyola’s many sustainability initiatives.

Loyola finished in the top 25 percent of schools in the category measuring pounds of waste recycled per capita, and had strong showings in categories measuring percentage of overall waste that is recycled and the highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, bottles, and cans that are recycled. The department of facilities management and sustainability organized Loyola’s involvement in the competition and received support from environmental services and the student government association.

“RecycleMania is a great opportunity to provide recycling education and outreach in a way that’s fun and engaging for the Loyola community,” said Taylor Casalena, program assistant for budget and sustainability in the Loyola facilities department. “We are thrilled with the results and impact, and we hope to increase our participation in the competition next year by including a clothing and electronics recycling drive in addition to our weekly outreach activities.”

The RecycleMania program is managed by Keep America Beautiful, the nation’s leading nonprofit that builds and sustains clean, green, and beautiful communities. The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of Alcoa Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company. Schools from 49 states and Canada participated in the 15th annual competition this year, together recycling or composting more than 80 million pounds of waste.

Loyola is continuing its efforts to increase awareness of and participation in sustainability initiatives with daily events during Earth Week, April 18-25. The marquee kickoff event is “Sustainable” Loyolapalooza on April 19 at noon. No plastic water bottles will be available at the event; instead, students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle or pick up one of 1,500 reusable bottles donated by Pepsi.

More information about Earth Week events at Loyola is available at facebook.com/loyolasustainability.

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