Thursday, February 27, 2014

How is Union Doing? Updates on Recyclemania

Recyclemania Quick Facts

What: a recycling competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus.

Where: Colleges and universities in the US and Canada, including Union College.

When: Feb 2 - March 29 (8 weeks)

Some Results: 
Food Service Organics
 pounds of food composted / person
The standings as of 2/27/14. Union is in first place for Food Service Organics
with 6.547 lbs. of food composted per person.
Hint: zoom in on your browser to better see graph 

What does this mean? 

          Well, it means that we do a good job composting. 

But, it also means that we are wasting a lot of food on campus. 

While food waste is generated in the kitchens during food preparation, much of the food waste we generate is from the consumer end, mainly students in the dining halls. In the spring term U-Sustain will be working on ways to raise awareness about food waste and campaign to reduce our food waste. 

Here are some food waste facts from the United Nations Environment Programme 
  • Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted.
  • In the United States 30% of all food, worth US$48.3 billion (€32.5 billion), is thrown away each year. It is estimated that about half of the water used to produce this food also goes to waste, since agriculture is the largest human use of water. (Jones, 2004 cited in Lundqvist et al., 2008)
  • In the USA, organic waste is the second highest component of landfills, which are the largest source of methane emissions. (This is why composting is so important!!)

Per Capita Classic
total amount of paper, cardboard, bottles, and cans collected 
on a per person basis
The standings of the Per Capital Classic as of 2/27/14, sorted by state.
Union ranks 37th overall and 6th in New York State
Hint: zoom in on your browser to better see graph

To learn more about Recyclemania and to look at the standings, 

At the end of the competition, there will be a final post about our results compared to past years. :)

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