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UW out-recycles its Pac-12 competitors

The UW’s Seattle campus handily defeated several Pac-12 universities in RecycleMania 2013, thanks to a game plan devised by Housing and Food Services, Students Expressing Environmental Dedication (SEED), and UW Recycling.

Sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency, the eight-week competition pitted United States and Canadian universities and colleges against each other to see who claims top honors in waste reduction. The UW competed in the Grand Champion, Per Capital Classic, Gorilla Price, and Food Service Organics categories.

With a recycling rate of 35.78 percent, the UW beat out Washington State, Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State and California.

“We went for it,” says Lisa Nicholson, executive director of SEED, which used Facebook updates and emails to encourage a competition among the UW’s eight residence halls to see who could compost and recycle the most.

This competition highlights the success that UW Recycling has made in reducing waste, said Jessica Lisiewski, program coordinator for UW Recycling, while demonstrating that more work is still needed to divert even more recyclable and compostable material from the garbage to reach the UW’s 70 percent waste diversion goal by 2020.

Additional Facts

Of the garbage on campus, studies have shown that 60 percent is compostable and 20 percent is recyclable. Compost costs $55 a ton for Cedar Grove to haul it away while it costs $145 for Waste Management to haul away garbage.

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