Ivy Tech, University of Evansville and University of Southern Indiana compete for Alcoa’s local prize in annual RecycleMania Tournament
The three largest colleges in Evansville challenged each other in a nationwide recycling contest, and together they diverted more than 450,000 pounds of material from area landfills, scoring a sustainable win for the entire community.
Ivy Tech Community College, the University of Southern Indiana, and the University of Evansville participated in the eight-week RecycleMania competition, which rallies students, faculty and staff to increase on-campus recycling rates. The national contest, managed by Keep America Beautiful, is sponsored with assistance from the Alcoa Foundation. Locally, Alcoa Warrick Operations sponsors a local version of the contest, too.
All three of the local schools finished in the top tier of the national challenge for their per capita recycling rates and for the quantity of material collected during the recycling tournament. Nationwide, 523 colleges and universities participated.
Ivy Tech Southwest’s Evansville campus finished first in the local contest and ranked 93rd overall in the nation-wide contest. The school posted a recycling rate of 34 percent. In the state of Indiana, nine colleges participated, including the three from Evansville. During the challenge, the local schools saved the equivalent of 838 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
To further increase student enthusiasm in the contest, Alcoa Warrick Operations offered a cash prize of $1,500 to the local school that performed the best in the second half of the challenge, which ended March 30. Ivy Tech received the cash prize and a traveling trophy, created from crushed aluminum cans. The trophy was designed by Evansville artist Bob Zasadny.
"We applaud all of the RecycleMania participants for so enthusiastically stepping up to reduce more waste and increase recycling," said Alcoa Foundation President Paula Davis. "This program supports the aluminum industry's goal to increase can recycling rates in the U.S. to 75 percent by 2015,” she said. “By motivating and educating students, we're encouraging lifelong positive recycling behaviors that will reduce the need for landfills and save substantial amounts of energy and money."
Ivy Tech Southwest Chancellor Dr. Dan Schenk said he is proud of the work that students, staff and faculty did during RecycleMania, boosting the school’s recycling rate and taking sustainable actions to improve the environment.
“We’d like to thank Alcoa for the leadership it has shown in sponsoring this contest, both nationally and locally,’ he said. Schenk said every classroom on the main campus of Ivy Tech Southwest has a recycling bin, which enhances the school’s recycling efforts. “In addition, Ivy Tech has a regional ‘Green Team’ to promote recycling and other Earth friendly initiatives year-round,” he said.
The presidents of both USI and UE congratulated Ivy Tech for its victory. In the three years of the local contest, each school has now had a victory in the local challenge.
University of Southern Indiana President Linda L.M. Bennett said USI has increased its recycling rate 12 percentage points. “In the years to come, USI aspires to recycle two-thirds of all of our materials," she said. "If we continue to educate our USI community, we will reach this goal. We congratulate Ivy Tech and UE on their educational efforts to improve recycling as well."
University of Evansville President Thomas Kazee, whose school won the inaugural Intra-city RecycleMania challenge, congratulated Ivy Tech and praised this annual contest. “RecycleMania benefits our entire community by highlighting the importance of recycling and sustainability, demonstrating how everyday actions make a difference,” Kazee said. “Hopefully, for all participants, the mindsets and actions developed during RecycleMania will far outlast the competition itself."