Radford University continues to strive in waste reduction, reusing products, and maximizing all areas of recycling. This fiscal year, the University's overall recycling rate equaled 27.19 percent. The university’s three main areas of recycling resulted in container recycling at 36 tons (137 percent increase), mixed paper recycling at 80 tons (14 percent increase), and corrugated cardboard at 195 tons (16 percent increase). Overall recyclables in all categories totaled 549 tons. Solid waste equaled 1,472 tons.
This Year's Highlights
Award Winning Program
RU’s recycling program garnered the “2012 Recycling Award for Outstanding University” given by the Virginia Recycling Association (VRA). This award was given to Radford for its previous year’s efforts including achieving its highest recycling rate ever (51 percent) including recycling large amounts of construction materials and scrap metals.
RU expanded recycling capabilities from plastics resin codes 1 and 2 to plastics 1 through 7. This wider range of plastics now provides more recycling opportunities for campus. This additional recycling
RU competed in the national recycling competition called “RecycleMania” for the fourth consecutive year. This year RU achieved a cumulative competition recycling rate of 11.51%, ranking 251 of 605 schools nationwide. This competition serves as a catalyst to refresh existing recycling habits and introduce recycling to new participants.
RU teamed up with the local YMCA again this year to collect usable goods during student move-out. YTOSS? is a program designed to collect unwanted items from students when they vacate their residence hall and keep items from being sent to the local landfill. Many of these items may be purchased by members of the local community and returning students. This year’s program yielded a total of 235 donated items, with a total weight of 3.7 tons.
Office Supply Swap
On April 19th, Radford University recognized the 42nd anniversary celebration of Earth Day which included hosting an office supply swap. Campus offices in need of supplies or who needed to discard excess supplies were given this opportunity. The recycling department set up several supply swap tables to support this cause. By reusing items, many items were diverted from the local landfill. This effort also made a positive impact on departmental budgets by offsetting the purchase of new items.
Fall 2012 New Student Move-In
Cardboard drop sites were designated outside all residence halls; each site was identified with a banner type sign. Cardboard totaling 7.93 tons for just that weekend was hauled to a cardboard compactor for recycling and transport.
Radford University continues to partner with Apple Computer in electronic waste (e-waste) recycling. Once each year, the Apple Computer Company recycles e-waste items from colleges and universities nationwide. This year Radford recycled a total of 42 pallets of e-waste totaling 13 tons.
The year Radford University conducted its first large scale waste audit ever. The purpose was to show hard data on what is typically being recycled and how much is discarded in the solid waste stream that should have otherwise been recycled. The Governors Quad was chosen for the audit and student volunteers and Residence Life staff from that area assisted by separating recyclables from trash and weighing the results. Of the four residence halls in the Quad, Floyd Hall took top honors by discarding the lowest percentage of recyclables in the waste stream which equaled 17.4 percent, while the other halls produced higher percentages. The results were eye opening and educational to the students who participated.
Other recycling events and opportunities this year included America Recycles Day (ARD), The “Bonnie Days of April”, Highlanderfest, Club Fair Day, Sustainability Movies Series, and numerous sporting events at the Dedmon Center and Cupp Stadium.
Radford University closes out yet another successful year in recycling. Radford continues to evaluate operations and recently entered into a contractual agreement with a local vendor to bring cardboard, wood debris, and scrap metals to various markets. Going forward, Radford plans to continue to identify and exploit new initiatives and innovations in recycling. Our ultimate goal is to continue to enhance and maintain sustainable practices and make a positive impact on global efforts to green our planet. Be sure to sure to check out the RU SustainABILITY Facebook page for more information too!
Download the full PDF version of the 2011-12 FY Annual Recycling Report.