March 19, 2009 by Sylvia Quintanilla NMSU Round Up
New Mexico State University is ranked third nationally in Recyclemania, a competition involving 513 colleges and universities, and with 2009 being the Year of Sustainability, the campus is off to a great start.
The seventh week of the competition, NMSU was ranked third in the nation, said Art Lucero, Solid Waste Manager for Aggie Recycling. Last year, NMSU placed fifth after collecting 2,020 pounds of recyclable material. Lucero said the goal for the competition this year is to “increase by 10 percent.”
“Every week we’re getting better,” Lucero said.
Aggie Recycling is set to debut a Web site to provide the campus with more information.
In addition to the 12 clear Recyclemania containers on campus, there are more than 125 clear stream containers in buildings collecting plastic bottles and aluminum cans and more than 400 blue brutes, divided between the buildings campuswide. Each building houses four containers that collect white paper, colored paper, cardboard and newspaper. Each container contributes to Recyclemania.
Master Fibers in El Paso receives 35-40 tons of recyclable material from NMSU regularly. The money received from the recycling plant goes “back into the program,” Lucero explained. The money also helps fund the recycling containers on campus.
The excess of landscaping, such as mowed grass, is being turned into compost. Three hundred to 500 tons of compost a year is used to fill turf areas on campus. Fifty to 100 thousand dollars is saved thanks to the use of compost and not the purchase of chemical fertilizer.
“Compost provides nutrients for plants, it is not a chemical fertilizer,” Lucero said.
Ronald Fisher, director of Facilities Maintenance, provided offices on campus with blue recycling bins Lucero said. “Two thousand bins were delivered in six weeks,” Lucero said.
“Anything that comes out of the copier and unwanted mail would be recycled,” said Pam Speer, secretary for the Department of Management.
Speer, has used a recycling bin provided by a former department head and members of Delta Sigma Pi for 13 years.
Management professor David Boje started recycling at the College of Business when he was department head in 1996, said Speer.
“I think almost everyone participates in recycling,” Speer said. Faculty and workers contribute to the boxes in the workroom.
The house manager calls Aggie Recycling every other day to come pick up their two containers, said Krista Thurman, Social Standards of Delta Gamma. Each Greek house has two containers, one for aluminum cans and plastic bottles and one for cardboard and paper.
“We’ve always had the plastic and the paper, but if we wanted to recycle before we’d have to go on campus, and find a bin, but now having a bin in our kitchen is convenient,” Thurman said.
In 15-16 months, Lucero said student housing such as the Vista Del Monte Apartments, will begin a curb side program. Residents would receive recycling bins which would be collected weekly.
To find out more information on Recyclemania and to keep track of NMSU’s success go to www.recyclemania.org.