Grand Valley ranks high in national recycling contest

Students gather and weigh materials that will be composted or recycled.
Students gather and weigh materials that will be composted or recycled.
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Grand Valley ranked first in the state and in the top 35 nationwide (for universities with more than 20,000 students) in the composting and waste minimization categories of the nationwide recycling contest Recyclemania.

The eight-week competition aims to reduce waste and increase student awareness about the importance of recycling. More than 460 colleges and universities representing more than 5.3 million students participated in the competition that took place from January 19-March 29.

Grand Valley took 34th place in the nation, up from 46th last year, in the waste minimization category, and took 29th place in the nation, up from 33rd last year, in the food service organics category. More than 183,000 pounds were recycled and more than 295,000 pounds were composted during the competition. In total, nearly 479,000 pounds were diverted from the waste stream.

“Grand Valley has made sustainability one of our core values,” said Steve Leeser, operations supervisor for Facilities Services. “We have many faculty, staff and students who are passionate about sustainability. As well as we have done in the past, we could easily increase our national ranking if everyone participated.”

Leeser said the university has invested in making attractive containers available all over campus to make recycling and composting convenient and easy. Learn more about Grand Valley’s recycle efforts at www.gvsu.edu/facilitiesservices/gvsu-recycling-program-18.htm.

This is the sixth year Grand Valley has competed in Recyclemania. Campus Dining, Housing, Sustainable Community Development Initiative and Pew Campus Operations helped Facilities Services during the contest.