By Megan Grindstaff
Baylor found unprecedented success in the 2014 RecycleMania competition. After seven weeks of competition, the results are in, and Baylor outranked even its own record.
Baylor’s main area of focus every year is the Per Capita Classic, which measures the number of pounds of recyclables per person. According to recyclemaniacs.com, in this category, Baylor clenched the first place spot in the Big 12, followed by Kansas State University and University of Oklahoma. Baylor finished third out of all Texas schools, bested only by The University of Texas Medical Branch and Baylor College of Medicine, and 121 out of 332 universities across the country, Baylor’s highest national ranking to date.
“Overall our recycling program has matured to the point where we are competing with some of the schools that used to be examples we were striving for,” said Smith Getterman, assistant director of sustainability and special projects. “Baylor is one of those examples being talked about now.”
In the Gorilla category, which ranks participants based on gross tonnage of recycling, Baylor finished fifth in the Big XII, producing more poundage than some of its significantly larger competitors such as University of Kansas and West Virginia University. Nationally, Baylor ranked 88 out of 336 participating schools in the Gorilla competition.
Waste Minimization calculates the average amount of waste produced by each student. In this category of competition, Baylor ranked 74 out of 149 universities nation-wide.
This year, Baylor improved on its 2013 ranking in all three categories of competition. Last year, Baylor ranked 213 out of 363 participating schools in Per Capita Classic, 128 out of 364 in Gorilla, and 78 out of 167 in Waste Minimization.
Getterman attributes the unprecedented success of the recycling program in part to the emphasis his department put on advertising for recycling this semester. He said he looks forward to applying the strategies that grew the recycling program, like increased campus advertising, to other sustainable areas of focus, like the energy program, Getterman said.