Education

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YSU Tops in Ohio for Campus Recycling

May 8, 2017

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Youngstown State University finished No. 1 in the Buckeye State in this year’s RecycleMania competition, an eight-week national contest to see which colleges reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste.

YSU finished first with a recycling rate of 61%. Ohio State University placed second with a rate of 53%, followed by Stark State at 49%, Dayton at 46%, Baldwin Wallace at 40% and Kent State at 36%.

YSU’s rate was 21st in the nation.

Dan Kuzma, manager of YSU’s recycling programs, said the university saved 201,136 pounds, or about 100 tons, of recyclables from ending up in the landfill during the eight-week campaign.

“This is paper, publications and cardboard being made into newer paper and cardboard products,” Kuzma said. “Also plastic, metal and glass food and beverage containers being made into newer food and beverage containers or incorporated into the manufacturing of cars, appliances, building materials, carpeting, and textiles.”

The 2017 tournament featured 320 competing schools in 46 states in the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada, with an enrollment of 4.1 million students.

Colleges and universities are ranked in various categories according to how much recycling and food waste they divert from the landfill over two months. The competition started Feb. 5 and ran through April 1.

To promote the competition at YSU, Kuzma employed the “Get Caught Green-handed” campaign. During the campaign, Kuzma randomly presented students “caught” recycling with a YSU Recycling USB drive or promotional pen.

YSU’s comprehensive recycling program resulted in 819 tons of recycling materials in 2016, a recycling diversion rate of 66%. That’s equal to the amount of energy it takes to run nearly 490 cars for an entire year or the amount of electricity it takes to run nearly 320 homes for an entire year.

In addition to paper, publications, cardboard, cans and bottles, YSU also recycles obsolete computers and electronics, toner cartridges, batteries, tires, pallets and scrap metal. Kuzma said the university also composts organics such as food and yard waste.

SOURCE: YSU News Center

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.