Emory & Henry is challenging colleges and universities from across the region and Virginia to enhance their recycling and waste minimization efforts and to participate in a recycling contest sponsored next spring by the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The College announced the challenge on Wednesday, Sept. 1, the same day that it was honored by the EPA for finishing first among Virginia colleges and universities in the per capita classic category of the 2010 RecycleMania Tournament (view photos). On that day, Emory & Henry also announced plans to construct an outdoor classroom facility in a wooded area of the E&H campus.
“This is a tremendous honor for Emory & Henry,” said E&H President Rosalind Reichard. “It is special to our college community, because it recognizes the hard work undertaken across this campus to protect our environment.”
Emory & Henry recycled 26.52 pounds of waste per person during the contest and finished 33rd among 346 institutions nationwide in the per capita classic.
“We look forward to competing again next spring,” Reichard continued. “And we challenge our friends at neighboring institutions and at colleges and universities across the state to join in a competition that does such a wonderful job at informing young people about the importance of recycling.”
Presenting the award on behalf of the EPA was Donna McGowan, Recycling Program Manager and Region 3 RecycleMania Coordinator.
The College topped the list of 17 Virginia colleges and universities participating in the per capita classic category. Second place went to the Virginia Military Institute, which recycled 24.97 pounds per person, while third place went to the University of Virginia-Main Campus, which recycled 20.77 pounds per person.
Bridgewater College, which recycled 20.26 pounds per person, and the University of Richmond, which recorded 15.84 pounds per person, rounded out the top five Virginia schools.
Other Virginia institutions participating in RecycleMania included, in order of their performance in the per capita classic category, Eastern Mennonite University, the College of William & Mary, Shenandoah University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Radford University, the University of Mary Washington, James Madison University, Virginia Tech, Randolph-Macon College, Old Dominion University, Mary Baldwin College, and Longwood University.
"The recycling accomplishments of Emory & Henry College serve as an important model of what colleges can do to make a difference in protecting the environment," said EPA mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Shawn M. Garvin. "The college's commitment to recycling encourages students to make resource conservation a part of their lifestyle - not only at school, but also at home and in the future."
The E&H recycling effort included leadership from E&H students, faculty members and members of the College’s custodial staff. The success in the competition was the culmination of many years of recycling practices on the campus plus recent strategies to improve recycling, including an increase in the number of recycling bins across campus.
The award is the second major recognition in the last two months for the College’s environmental work. In June, the Southwest Virginia Technology Council honored Emory & Henry with its High Tech Green Award, marking the second time in the Council’s 11-year history that the award has been handed out.
In addition to improving its recycling efforts, Emory & Henry has instituted several other practices aimed at environmental preservation. The College built one of the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified residence halls in Virginia. The College also became the first institution in Southwest Virginia to establish a LEED certified building when it added a major addition to one of its academic buildings.
Emory & Henry’s other sustainable efforts include signing of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment, converting a bus to run on used vegetable oil, an organic garden that supplies vegetables to the institution’s dining facilities, and a commitment to become carbon-neutral by 2036.