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Southwestern College Wins Award in 2014 RecycleMania Competition

The numbers are in and the results are official as the 2014 RecycleMania Tournament draws to a close.  Southwestern College competed against 460 other colleges and universities in the annual competition, which leverages campus spirit to increase recycling and waste reduction on campuses across the U.S. and Canada.  Participating schools represented more than 5.3 million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada.

Southwestern College was crowned champions of the 2014 Electronics Recycling “E-cyclemania” competition, a special category of the nationwide RecycleMania competition.

Green Team Southwestern collaborated with the City of Winfield, Grace United Methodist Church, and Vintage Tech LLC to collect electronic items that were ready to be recycled.  Businesses and individuals brought items to the event. Vintage Tech LLC collected the items and processes them for recycling.

“It has been a goal of mine to be able to have some kind of electronic waste recycling service,” Jason Speegle, director of Green Team Southwestern, says.  “It is something that is sorely needed.  Nowhere in the area is there a place to take obsolete electronics and get them recycled.  It is pretty hazardous to throw them in the landfill.  We had a great partnership with the City of Winfield and Grace United Methodist Church to make the electronics recycling event happen. Members of Grace, about 25 college students and inmates from the Winfield Correctional Facility volunteered at the event.  We collected over 12,400 pounds of material.”

The next E-Waste collection event is scheduled for October 14, from 3 – 7 p.m. at Barn #4 of the Winfield Fairgrounds. Speegle says that they are only able to accept electronics during specific collection events.

Colleges and universities competing in the eight-week competition are ranked according to how much recycling, trash and food waste they collect. Between the early-February kickoff and the tournament’s final day on March 29, participating schools collectively recycled or composted 89.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of 126,597 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing annual emissions from 24, 823 cars. 

Southwestern students, faculty, and staff competed in several categories, including grand champion, corrugated cardboard, per capita classic, and waste minimization.  

Other Kansas schools that participated in RecycleMania were Kansas State University, University of Kansas, Johnson County Community College, and Southwestern College.

Complete results for all 11 categories can be found on http://recyclemania.org, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state and other groupings. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials and earn bragging rights.  

“With the help of millions of students, RecycleMania competitors have recycled and composted over 277,800 tons of material since the competition first started in 2001,” said Stacy Wheeler president of RecycleMania, Inc. “RecycleMania is a powerful tool for colleges and universities to engage students to improve their community environments and the economy through recycling.” 

The RecycleMania Tournament is made possible with the sponsorship support of the American Forest & Paper Association, Alcoa Foundation, The Coca-Cola Company and SCA.