Baylor's Sustainability Initiatives Recognized By National Wildlife Federation

August 25, 2008

by Frank Raczkiewicz

As Baylor University continues to enhance its sustainability initiatives, the university has been recognized for its efforts by the National Wildlife Federation in their Campus Environmental 2008 Report Card, the nation's largest study on trends and new developments in campus sustainability.

The report cited Baylor's expanded recycling program and its plan to provide greener landscaping around campus for the recognition. Baylor was one of 14 Texas colleges and universities to be mentioned in the report.

"We are honored to be recognized for our sustainability efforts over the past year," said Pattie Orr, vice president for information technology and dean of university libraries at Baylor, who acts as the University Sustainability Committee coordinator. "We have made tremendous strides to build a solid infrastructure and are in the process of deploying what we believe is a sustainable recycling program. This recognition will fuel us as we implement recycling at athletic events and in outdoor areas across campus this year."

On Feb. 1, Baylor unveiled a new recycling initiative that placed 145 blue recycling containers in every campus residence hall that will take nearly every recyclable item, such as paper, colored paper, plastics, aluminum and tin. The containers are "single stream," meaning students do not have to sort the different items. As the program expanded, recycling containers were placed in public areas around campus like the libraries, Bill Daniel Student Center and the McLane Student Life Center.

The university is now in the process of deploying hundreds of containers to offices around the campus. Over the next month, the first 400 containers will be placed in offices in the Baylor Sciences Building, Pat Neff Hall and Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building. Additional containers will be eventually placed in every building around campus, bringing the total to 600 containers in offices.

Recycling bins also will be placed at strategic locations around Baylor athletic complexes when a game is taking place. For example, at football games, nearly 90 temporary and permanent containers will be placed by food booths, sky boxes, concourses, suites, media offices and locker rooms. The containers will take all plastic bottles and aluminum cans. The university hopes to recycle at least 110,000 plastic bottles annually from athletic events.

If the projected recycling numbers are met after all the bins have been placed, Baylor will save approximately $1,200 per month on landfill fees. In addition, Baylor will receive nearly $1,100 per month for its recycled goods, meaning total savings could approach $2,500 per month, or more than $27,000 per year.

For more information, contact Pattie Orr at (254) 710-3200 or Carl Flynn at (254) 710-7620.