St. John’s “taking out the trash” for Recyclemania

St. John’s finished in the 35th percentile across New York State and in the 46th percentile across the nation in its first year in Recyclemania, according to the results released on April 17.

Recyclemania is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-sponsored 10-week national recycling and waste minimization competition from Jan. 18 to March 28 that featured over 500 universities.

According to Tom Goldsmith, director of Environmental and Energy Conservation, the Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan campuses collected 377,874 pounds of waste, 271,970 pounds of trash and 105,904 pounds of recyclables over the 10-week period.

Also during that time period, recyclable materials accounted for 28 percent of the University’s total waste and he also notes that 40 metric tons of greenhouse gas was prevented by not landfilling recyclables.
Overall, Goldsmith said he was content with St. John’s performance in the competition.

“For this to be our first time in recyclemania and for us to finish in the top 50 percent, I am very satisfied with our performance,” he said. “Competing also contributed to recycling being up 400 percent in the last 15 months.”

Goldsmith said the University plans to take part in the 2010 competition and hopes to build upon the momentum gained from this year’s contest.

“We are going to continue as if we are in recyclemania all year round,” he said.
“Right now, 28 percent of our waste are recyclables and we want to show continuous improvement and reach 35 percent before the next Recyclemania.”