UNC Asheville Places First Among N.C. Campuses in Diverting Waste in Recyclemania 2017 Competition

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UNC Asheville Environmental Specialist Jackie Hamstead and student Laura Harris performing a trash audit on the university’s Quad in 2015.

UNC Asheville’s ongoing waste-reduction efforts showed measurable success when the university jumped up to first place in the waste diversion category among the 11 North Carolina campuses that participated in the recently completed Recyclemania competition.

As part of this annual competition, colleges and universities weigh different categories of waste generated on their campuses over an eight-week period. By composting or recycling 68.55% of the university’s waste, UNC Asheville not only placed first in North Carolina in the waste diversion category, but placed 11th among the 189 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada competing this year. UNC Asheville placed 82nd last year.

“The biggest improvement came in our composting – we ranked eighth among 134 campuses in the competition with composting programs,” said UNC Asheville Environmental Specialist Jackie Hamstead. “Students and staff in the residence halls and Chartwells Dining Services worked hard to increase the collection of organic matter for composting. And this semester, students and staff partnered in a very effective compost-collection campaign in three academic buildings.”

During the eight-week competition, UNC Asheville diverted from the landfill 145,534 pounds of waste through recycling and composting. For more information about the competition, visit Recyclemania.org, and for more information about UNC Asheville’s recycling and composting programs, contact Jackie Hamstead at jhamstea@unca.edu or 828.251.6814.