The University of Missouri-Kansas City recently received an award for its “Outstanding Community Program” from the Missouri Recycling Association.
Sustainability Coordinator Kaye Johnston and Building Services Manager Velda Robins accepted the award at the Missouri Recycling Association’s annual conference in Columbia, Mo.
“UMKC was recognized for the over 1,200 hours their 120-member team – made up of students, faculty and staff – have put in to ensure that sustainability becomes a norm on campus,” Ruth Anne Parrott, president of the Missouri Recycling Association, said.
UMKC’s sustainability efforts have garnered significant recognition recently. Earlier this year, UMKC ranked #1 in a nationwide recycling competition. UMKC beat out more than 500 other colleges and universities for the top honor in the annual RecycleMania competition. During the eight-week competition, the campus recycled 86 percent of its overall waste products. That equates to a reduction of 360 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
UMKC’s efforts have also been noted by the Environmental Protection Agency. Officials visited campus last year to celebrate UMKC’s food recovery initiative. Just a few years ago, the university regularly filled a 20-yard container with waste which went straight to a landfill. Today, roughly 20 percent of the campus’ scraps end up in the trash. The university saves an average of $120,000 a year by not having to pay tipping and hauling fees on the trash.
“We are creating a culture where sustainability is commonplace. Awards like this one just show that when we all do a little, we all do a lot,” Johnston said.