Kendall Earns Second Place in National Recycling Competition
Kendall College of Art and Design has earned second place in the RecycleMania competition. RecycleMania is a competition between colleges and universities to see which school can recycle the most, per student. Kendall also won third place in the waste minimization sub-category, meaning that Kendall produces very little waste per student.
This win is the result of several years of effort and learning experience. In 2010, a Collaborative Projects class at Kendall worked on a sustainability strategy for the school. Participating in RecycleMania was a part of that strategy, and Kendall has participated ever since, earning better results each year. With the addition of the newly renovated Historic Federal Building to Kendall's campus, the college has redoubled its efforts, with more recycling bins and a stronger push to recycle and compost.
Staff and students sorting trash for waste audit
In fall 2011, Kendall students and faculty conducted a waste audit, analyzing everything that was thrown away over a three-day period to see how much was recyclable. Since then, the school has been on a quest to minimize waste on campus. This includes working with Organicycle, a local business that provides composting services, to get people composting in both campus buildings. Organicycle’s industrial composting facility allows most organic materials, like food waste and paper towels, to be composted. Composting keeps waste out of landfills and creates rich, usable soil.
These efforts have paid off well for Kendall, earning the school second place in the Grand Champion category, out of more than 600 schools competing. The Grand Champion category measures the amount of waste going to composting and recycling as a percentage of total waste. Kendall recycles and composts 83.46 percent of its total waste. To place third in the Waste Minimization, Kendall measured how much trash was produced per person, per week. Over the eight-week challenge, Kendall produced just 3.77 pounds of trash for every person on campus. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, in 2008, each person in the United States created, on average, 4.5 pounds of waster per day.
Kendall plans to maintain its program of recycling and composting, continuing to weave a bright thread of sustainability into the fabric of the college. To that end, not only has the college appointed a Chief Sustainability Officer, Gayle DeBruyn; signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment; and become the home of the Wege Center for Sustainability; this year’s RecycleMania efforts involved the entire campus community, led in large part by the student-run Green Council. Students hope that recycling and composting will continue to increase at Kendall. Who knows – maybe next year, we’ll take first.