WMU News

Recycling award winners announced

Nov. 27, 2001

KALAMAZOO -- The Department of Paper and Printing Science and Engineering and Physical Plant are the recipients of the WMU Best Recyclers Award and Most Improved Recyclers Award for 2000­01, respectively.

Created by WMU Recycling and Waste Reduction Services, these awards honor University departments and offices that have the lowest amount of recyclable material in their trash and those that have shown an improvement from the previous year.

The award is based on a two-day sample taken from all the trash collected from a particular department during the winter semester. Heading up the search for recyclables is award creator Carolyn Noack, recycling and waste reduction coordinator.

"I am looking for anything in the trash that could be recycled; including aluminum cans, glass, plastic and paper," says Noack. "After everything is checked and weighed, I take care of the recyclables and trash."

After randomly selecting 18 departments, Noack searches through their trash bags and determines a ratio of the weight of the materials that could have been recycled in comparison with the total amount of trash thrown out. This year, paper and printing had only 7.5 percent recyclable materials in its trash. The Physical Plant gained most improved honors for dropping 13 percent in recyclable materials.

According to Noack, the idea for the awards began when the Faculty Senate asked how academic departments measured up as far as the amount of recycled materials that they were throwing out.

Noack hopes to keep the number of selected departments to around 24 each year. Each of the winners receives a plaque made from recycled melted blue glass and plastic.

Media contact: Cheryl Roland, 616 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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