KANSAS CITY, Mo. – When it comes to sustainability, the University of Missouri-Kansas City is No. 1. Literally.
The university ranked No. 1 out of more than 260 competing campuses in the Grand Champion category of the annual RecycleMania competition. The university won with an 86 percent recycling rate. RecycleMania is a nationwide competition that challenges universities to increase their recycling efforts.
“We’re thrilled to be national champions. Everyone on campus – from the top down – helped make this ranking possible. It really does show that when we all do a little, we all do a lot,” Kaye Johnston, sustainability coordinator, said.
Over the eight-week competition, UMKC’s efforts resulted in cumulative greenhouse gas reductions of 360 Metric Tons of CO2 Equivalent, or 71 cars off the road, or the energy consumption of 31 households. (These figures were calculated based on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Reduction Model.)
The university has competed in RecycleMania for six years. Every year, the campus has risen in the rankings. Last year, UMKC ranked #13. This year, the Office of Sustainability rolled out several different initiatives to keep UMKC high in the rankings.
“This year we really worked to align the university’s recycling efforts. On top of our ongoing commitment to sustainability, countless campus groups are putting forth extra effort. Together, we’re all making a difference,” Johnston said.
The efforts paid off – both in the competition, and for the planet. UMKC Libraries partnered with KC Rehab to recycle books; peer mentors helped students recycle or compost their waste. Building Services hosted a recycling competition, and the entire campus was invited to a document shredding event.
These initiatives complement UMKC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.