March 24, 2009 by Mario A. Montes NMSU News Center
Call it Aggie pride for the environment, because New Mexico State University is leading 510 universities and colleges nationwide in collecting the most recyclable material competing for the Grand Champion weight category in the 2009 Recyclemania competition.The contest ends this Saturday, March 28. So, if NMSU continues to gather all its recyclable materials such as paper products, plastic bottles and aluminum cans, Aggie pride will once again show the world it cares about its environment, especially during 2009 the Year of Sustainability at NMSU. The final results will be presented April 17.
“We will get a trophy and national recognition,” said Art Lucero, manager of solid waste and recycling at NMSU.
In 1994, the state of New Mexico passed a mandate that all institutes of higher education had to divert 25 percent of their waste. This meant that NMSU had to develop recycling programs to meet the diversion criteria, said Pat Montoya, affiliated coordinator at the Office of Facilities and Service (OFS).
Since 1994, NMSU has been committed to meeting the state’s mandate and this year Interim President Waded Cruzado called for making 2009 the Year of Sustainability. All colleges and departments at NMSU are committed to bringing sustainability issues to the forefront, such as this year’s Recyclemania efforts.
Just recently, the Board of Regents approved the construction of two buildings, one in Alamogordo, N.M., and another in Carlsbad, N.M., that are expected to meet criteria for the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System. One of the buildings will also have a hand in training students for “green-collar” jobs.
“We are committed to incorporating sustainability into the design of our buildings,” said Michael Rickenbaker, director of Facilities Planning and Construction at NMSU. “These projects are excellent examples of what can be done to ensure that sensitivity to the environment is a key part of our process.”
Along with green buildings, NMSU continually recycles all of its grass clippings and shrubbery created from maintaining the immense grounds of the university. Most of the waste is turned into compost and used to fertilize its grounds and the multitude of trees that keep NMSU campuses cool in the summer.
For more information on NMSU’s recycling program, go to http://www.ppd.nmsu.edu/services.html#recycle.