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Miami University
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Miami among top university recyclers

01/02/2002

Miami University is listed among top performers in the first national survey of college and university environmental practices conducted by the National Wildlife Federation. State of the Campus Environment: A National Report Card on Environmental Performance and Sustainability in Higher Education includes results from 891 or 22 percent of U.S. colleges and universities.

Miami is recognized for exemplary performance in two of 17 categories. It is listed among the top 23 schools for recycling, solid waste and materials flow and among the top 22 top schools for recycling 60 percent or more of total municipal waste. It is the only university in Ohio to be recognized for best practices in either of these categories.

“Miami’s success has resulted from putting into place programs that the university community can assimilate into its daily routine. Our programs touch all areas of life on and off campus including academic and administrative buildings, residence and dining halls, special events, off-campus drop-off trailers, renovation projects, facility service areas and recently, fraternities,” said Steve Gaski, director of building and special services. “What has put us over the 60 percent rate is the tremendous effort of the residence hall students and support staff, who improved their recycling rate from 4 percent to 35 percent during the past year, in part thanks to a Recycle Mania! competition, which will be back this spring,” added Gaski.

Sixty percent of Miami’s waste equals 2,500 tons.

The survey shows many schools are embracing sound environmental practices, but others are due for environmental remediation. Highlights include:

• 80 percent of universities said they’d improved lighting efficiency to save energy

• 72 percent said they had installed water-efficient faucets, showerheads and toilets

• 65 percent recycle, but only 26 percent of waste is diverted from landfills and incinerators.

Where most colleges falter is in the area of environmental curriculum. The National Wildlife Federation recommends more environmental studies courses be offered or even made mandatory. It also suggests universities work to reduce single-occupant vehicles in order to reduce transportation congestion and pollution.

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