Recyclemania 2011 competition off to optimistic start

Recyclemania 2011 competition off to optimistic start

Anya Zentmeyer

Just three weeks into the Recyclemania 2011 competition, Grand Valley State University already sees notable improvements in recycling and composting numbers from last year’s competition.

“We’re off to a great start,” said Steve Leeser, operations supervisor for Facilities Services.

With 66,886 pounds in 2010 and 99,388 pounds in 2011, GVSU has seen a 49 percent increase in recycling. 2011’s compost totals so far at 62,754 pounds, a 102 percent increase from 2010’s third-week total of 31,056 pounds.

The percentage of total waste stream composted and recycled has also increased with compost at 47 percent, up from 35 percent in 2010 and total percentage of waste stream recycled at 35 percent, up from 27 percent last year.

“It looks like Campus Dining and Facilities Services have combined to take a dramatic step forward in this years competition,” said Bart Bartels, project coordinator for the Sustainable Community Development Initiative. “As composting efforts increase landfill diversion to 47 percent, the results are praiseworthy in the least and possibly a contender for national recognition.”

Ethan McCann, campus dining sustainability manager, said he expects recycling and composting numbers to exceed expectations and increase from 2010.

“We now compost at all of our dine-in locations, and I expect composting numbers to possibly double over last year,” he said.

McCann’s optimism is met by Leeser, who has high expectations for this years’ final numbers as well.

“I am hoping that these numbers can not only be sustained for the remaining seven weeks, but that we can keep increasing the volumes,” Leeser said. “We can potentially exceed our numbers from the previous three years significantly.”

Recyclemania will run through March.

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