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GU Improves in National Sustainability Competition


Recycling efforts propelled Georgetown to No. 27 in this year's RecycleMania competition.

April 29, 2011 – Georgetown rose 10 spots to No. 27 in the annual rankings of the RecycleMania national sustainability competition.

RecycleMania is a project of the College and University Recycling Council, with program management by Keep America Beautiful, in coordination with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program.

California State University San Marcos continued its six-year winning streak as the top recycling institution.

Improved Standing

For 10 weeks, Georgetown competed among 288 schools across the country and reported recycling and trash data.

“Georgetown has improved its standing among colleges and universities in the Recyclemania competition each year we have competed,” said Karen Frank, vice president of university facilities and student housing. “This places us in the top 10 percent in the Grand Champion category with a recycling rate of just over 50 percent of total solid waste.”

The university also ranked in the top 20 percent in the Waste Minimization category. 

Dedicated Staff

Composting efforts at the student dining hall and the distribution of desk bins to students in two first-year residence halls have attributed to increased recycling, according to university officials.

“I think it is clear that we have a dedicated recycling and solid waste staff who have made a commitment to improving our environment,” Frank added. “It is also clear that more members of our campus community have made recycling a routine in their lives.”

Reducing Consumption

J.M. Alatis (SFS’13) said his residence hall – New South – is among those competing in the university’s Switch It Off contest, which challenges residents to reduce energy consumption in their buildings.

The residence hall with the greatest percentage difference, compared to its usage last year, will be declared the winner at the end of the academic year.

“Residents have seen that going green isn’t that difficult,” Alatis said. “In fact, I heard one resident talking recently that she even turns off her power strip to conserve electricity when she is not in the room.” 

New South Hall, which houses first-year students, won last year. Frank said the residents in the hall have already reduced their energy consumption by 12.8 percent compared to last year.

“What is amazing about New South’s success this year is that they were the winners last year with an 11 percent reduction,” Frank said. “The staff and students have really done a fantastic and consistent job of remaining aware.”

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