BHSU Named a Winner in National Wildlife Federation’s 2023 Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition

Black Hills State University was recently recognized as one of 16 winning colleges and universities for this year’s Campus Race to Zero Waste Competition, a program of the National Wildlife Federation and RecycleMania Inc., and sponsored by Rubicon. 
BHSU won the Electronic Waster Per Capita Recycling category by recycling electronic waste and printers for eight weeks, collecting 5,110 pounds at a 2.13 pounds per capita. Debbie Liddick, assistant director of facilities and sustainability, said the electronic waste recycled was collected by BHSU’s Network and Computing Services (NCS) Department.  
“Whenever someone upgrades a laptop, the old computer is turned into NCS to be disposed,” Liddick explained. “All the electronic waste is collected by NCS and picked up by facilities services and stored on pallets. The American Recycling Company then comes to campus each semester and picks up the electronic waste and adheres to the policy of responsible recycling requirements. Everything is either reused, recovered, or disposed of properly.” 
The recycled printers came from the printer optimization plan on campus which replaced individual office computers, with a smaller printer fleet to help reduce the amount of desktop printers across campus. 
Through the competition, more than 3.4 million college students and staff across 200 campuses competed to reduce their waste footprint through minimization efforts by donating, composting and recycling more than 29.4 million pounds of waste. 
“The impact these colleges and universities have on reducing their waste footprint is tremendous and almost hard to comprehend. To prevent the release of more than 29,000 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and more than 200 million single-use plastics out of landfills is staggering and truly something to be proud of,” said Kristy Jones, director of higher education programs at National Wildlife Federation. “The collective efforts to minimize waste and reduce stress on natural resources is inspiring and creating a better world for wildlife and the environment.” 
“BHSU’s sustainability goal is that no electronics end up in our landfill,” Liddick said. “By recycling electronics, it will help reduce pollution, save landfill space, and save our natural resources since 98% of the components are recyclable. By getting into the habit of recycling, every individual can make a big difference.”