UTSA ranks second among 22 Texas schools in bottle, can recycling event

recycling award

UTSA safety technician Anastacio Alvarez (right) receives UTSA's award from Maia Corbitt, executive director of the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling and Recyclemania representative

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(Oct. 24, 2011) -- UTSA won second place in the state at the 14th annual Texas Recycling and Sustainability Summit in the Targeted Materials: Bottles and Cans division of the competition. UTSA safety technician Anastacio Alvarez accepted the award on behalf of the university at an Oct. 4 ceremony in Austin ceremony. The event was hosted by the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling.

The University of Texas at Austin won first place in the bottles-and-cans category. In the Texas division of the national 2011 RecycleMania Tournament, UTSA ranked ninth among 22 Texas colleges and universities in cumulative recyclable pounds per person.

In the national competition, UTSA placed 103rd among 363 schools across the country participating in the Gorilla Prize competition category with 188,184 pounds (or 94.1 tons) of recyclable materials collected -- a 36.4 percent increase over last year.

"Thanks to all who make a difference every day by being involved in keeping UTSA's environment a whole lot greener," said Richard Garza, UTSA environmental and construction safety manager. "This achievement is a result of the committed involvement of all members of the UTSA community."

"UTSA's participation in RecycleMania and our ongoing recycling and sustainability efforts demonstrate the university's commitment to stewardship of the environment for the UTSA community, our city, our state and the world," said John Murphy, chair of the UTSA Sustainability Council and dean of the College of Architecture. "UTSA is involved in a rapidly increasing number of campus and community recycling and sustainability projects."

The UTSA Office of Environment Health, Safety and Risk Management manages recycling campuswide and encourages UTSA community members to help achieve a greener environment by recycling in the workplace. The goals of UTSA's recycling program are to maximize and diversify recycling activities, reduce future waste disposal costs, stimulate public awareness and encourage sensitivity to the environment in our community. UTSA community members can place plastic, glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard and other materials in the blue containers across the three UTSA campuses.

UTSA campus and community recycling and sustainability projects include but are not limited to:

  • As part of National Recycling Day, Nov. 15, UTSA will host a recycling collection event Nov. 15. Watch UTSA Today for details.
  • Tree-planting project (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department Commercial Tree-Planting Challenge)
  • Recycling partner GreenStar (national organization and recycling provider for City of San Antonio)
  • Acid neutralization tanks in engineering and science buildings and labs to ensure water quality is maintained before release into the sewer system
  • Smoke-testing of UTSA water infrastructure to ensure water system integrity and water conservation
  • At the Main Campus playing field, grass replacement with synthetic turf (saving 14.5 million gallons of water per year)
  • Installation of high-efficiency toilets in Chisholm Hall residence facility
  • UTSA won the San Antonio Water System Refreshing Ideas Awards Pinnacle Award for Water Conservation and Environmental Protection
  • Paper recycling drives for the UTSA and San Antonio communities
  • College of Architecture involvement in HemisFair Park redevelopment and revitalization project and Dignowity Hill neighborhood revitalization
  • UTSA Athletics and UTSA Inclusion and Community Engagement Center Habitat for Humanity building and revitalization projects
  • UTSA Inclusion and Community Engagement Center campus and community street clean-ups
  • UTSA Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute $50-million partnership with CPS Energy for research and development in green technology research
  • Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute and Institute for Economic Development create sustainable business applied research program aimed at the San Antonio business community and UTSA students, funded by U.S. Economic Development Administration to help small businesses understand and adopt sustainable business practices to benefit the bottom line and the environment

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About RecycleMania

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for collegiate recycling programs across the nation to promote waste-reduction activities to their campus communities. With more than 630 colleges and universities registered in various categories, RecycleMania participants recycled and composted more than 91 million pounds of material from Feb. 6 to April 2, 2011.

Over the eight-week period, schools reported recycling and litter data, which was then ranked according to several criteria: largest amount of recyclables collected per capita, total amount of recyclables collected, least amount of trash per capita and highest recycling rate per campus.