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Grand Valley ranks in top 10 nationwide for recycling efforts

  • Students on Campus Dining's Green Team perform a weekly audit at The Connection.
  • Students on Campus Dining's Green Team perform a weekly audit at The Connection.

Posted on April 20, 2018

For eights weeks this winter, campus temporarily went from Laker blue to green during Recyclemania, a nationwide competition to collect the most amount of recyclables and the least amount of trash. Among the 300 colleges and universities that participated, Grand Valley ranked in the top 10 in the recycling category. 

In total, 1,091,619 pounds were recycled at Grand Valley during the two-month competition, the most amount collected during the history of the university's participation in the contest. In the top 10 list, Grand Valley ranked eighth and joins universities such as Harvard, Stanford and Ohio State. 

The competition took place February 4-March 31 on the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses. Grand Valley also ranked 12th in the nation in the diversion category, which is based on the total percentage of overall waste that is diverted from a landfill.

Yumi Jakobcic, campus sustainability coordinator, credits this year's success to more awareness and student involvement. Students in several organizations, including the Student Environmental Coalition and Campus Dining's Green Team, worked together to make an awareness video, perform weekly audits of campus trash bins and support employees in Campus Dining. 

Janet Aubil, operations supervisor for Facilities Services, led a team of staff members who collected and weighed materials each week. 

"It's a tremendous team effort between many campus departments to collect and track materials, as well as educate people about the correct way to compost and recycle," said Aubil. 

Facilities Services led the contest, with support from the Office of Sustainability Practices, Campus Dining, Office of Housing and Residence Life, Green Team, Student Environmental Coalition and Pew Campus Operations. 

For more information about Recyclemania, visit For more information about Recyclemania at Grand Valley, visit