Recycle Mania event nets more than 300 pounds of recyclable waste

Author: BHSU Communications/Tuesday, February 23, 2016/Categories: 2016

Kayleigh Murphy, junior exercise science major from Medford, N.Y., sorts recycling during the Throw Back-Don't Throw Away event held at Black Hills State University Feb. 13. More than 300 pounds of waste were diverted from the landfill during the event.  

More than 300 pounds of waste have been diverted from the landfill, thanks to the Throw Back-Don't Throw Away event held during the Black Hills State University basketball games Feb. 13.

Petrika Peters, sustainability coordinator at BHSU, said attendees at the games were encouraged to place their trash in one of the recycle, trash or compost bins. The event was hosted by BHSU Facilities Services and Athletics.

"Those attending the games saw the Recycle Mania signs and asked us questions about recycling," said Peters. "We were able to reach many people in our community who maybe don't recycle on a regular basis."

A total of 328 pounds of waste was collected during the event, with 92 percent, or 302 total pounds, diverted from the landfill. The waste collected included 63 pounds of compost, 138 pounds of cardboard, 101 pounds of plastic and aluminum, and 26 pounds of landfill trash.

BHSU is one of several colleges across North America participating in an eight-week Recycle Mania Tournament, a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for university recycling programs to promote waste reduction. This is the third year BHSU has participated in the national event, having increased the trash diversion rate each year from 78 percent in 2014, to 87 percent in 2015, and now 92 percent in 2016.

"This was our first step to a zero-waste event," said Peters. "We hope to replicate our success during other events including an upcoming Earth Day event with the Campus Activities Board (CAB)."

BHSU is committed to environmental sustainability. All new buildings and major renovations are built to LEED (Leadership in Energy Environmental Design) Silver or higher standards. BHSU was the first and only university in the state of South Dakota to achieve a STAR (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System), achieving STARS Silver rating based on academics, engagement, operations, planning and administration, and innovation. BHSU was also the first South Dakota University to join the American College and University President's Climate Commitment.

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