GV ranks top 3 in Recyclemania

In the Recyclemania 2011 competition, Grand Valley State University placed in the top three in all five categories.

Eric Coulter

In the Recyclemania 2011 competition, Grand Valley State University placed in the top three in all five categories.

Anya Zentmeyer

Recyclemania 2011 results are in, and Grand Valley State University has landed in the top three in each of the competition’s five categories.

The 10-week competition started in January and ended last week with GVSU placing second in the Grand Champion category, the greatest achievement in both source reduction and recycling, with 32.80 percent of total waste staream recycled. The competition groups schools with similar sizes, and GVSU shares award categories with larger schools like Western Michigan University, Central Michigan University and University of Michigan with student populations of more than 20,000.

“Our stats looked very good when compared to other large Michigan universities,” said Steve Leeser, operations supervisor for Facilities Services. “We also increased our ranking nationally in four of the five categories that we competed in.”

Taking second place again in the Per Capita Classic category, GVSU had 9.06 pounds of acceptable recyclables per person. In Waste Minimization, GVSU came in third for producing the least amount of municipal solid waste (recyclables and trash) with 26.82 pounds per person.

At 220,024 pounds of total recycling, GVSU took another third place spot in the Gorilla Prize – the highest gross tonnage of recyclables regardless of population. GVSU took first place in the Food Service Organics category with 5.53 pounds of food service organics per person.

Leeser said success was made possible with the support of the Housing staff, Campus Dining, Pew Operations, Allied Waste and Spurt Industries as well as the GVSU student Recycling Team.

Leeser said as far improvements go, there are still recyclable materials being thrown in the trash all over campus.

“We also have to deal with contamination of our recyclables when items that should go to the landfill or to the compost bin are placed in our recycling containers,” Leeser said.

Overall, Leeser said GVSU’s composting project is now removing more than 20,000 pounds per week from the landfill waste stream.

“There is still a lot of room for improvement but I am encouraged by the progress that we have made,” he said. [email protected]