From SBU is First Place Winner in E-Waste Category of RecycleMania Competition on Stony Brook University News, May 13, 2020

Stony Brook University collected over 112,506 lbs. of e-waste throughout RecycleMania, earning its place as the winner of the competition in that category, for total amount recycled. The e-waste collected is the trash generated from surplus, broken and obsolete electronic devices such as cellphones and computers.

“It’s easier to trash an old TV rather than process it to be recycled. So taking the top spot in the electronic waste category is especially satisfying as it once again shows that Seawolves always strive to do the right thing, even when it may be difficult to do,” stated Dean Tufts, Vice President for Facilities and Services.

Recycling e-waste reuses parts and materials while preventing components from ending up in landfills where they can contaminate water, soil and air. “Under the leadership of our Recycling and Resource Management, Property Control, Stony Brook Medicine, and the Faculty Student Association, it’s so rewarding to be a part of a campus community that cares enough to take action,” affirmed Tufts.

During the competition, the University’s Facilities and Services department reported the amount of recycling and trash collected each week to be ranked in various categories like Minimizing Food Waste, Electronics Recycling, Diversion and Per Capita Classic. “Capturing over 112,506 lbs. of e-waste was a significant effort that illustrates the tremendous pride we have as a Seawolves community to make a difference! I am proud to be a Seawolf,” stated Michael Youdelman, Facilities and Services.

Stony Brook University was a leader in other areas of the competition, including being in the top 15% of colleges and universities nationwide for both the Food Organics and Per Capita Classic categories.

Our dining locations produce over 204 tons of cardboard annually. Bottle and can collection for the entire campus estimates around 10,000 pounds per year. Facilities and Services offered free recycling services for office paper and cardboard clean-ups, e-waste pickups, and complimentary confidential document shredding. For the competition, over 300 96-gallon confidential bins were collected for document destruction.

The Faculty Student Association (FSA) in collaboration with the University’s Facilities and Services department hosted a RecycleMania Kickoff event to build awareness about ways to participate and live a greener lifestyle.

“Our sustainability programs are based on a continuous cycle of research, reflection, improvement and communication, which is why education and outreach programs such as RecycleMania are so important,” stated Van Sullivan, Executive Director, Faculty Student Association. “It really heightens awareness about recycling and resource management, decreasing the University’s carbon footprint and impact on the environment, and lowering the quantity of waste generated by reducing, reusing and recycling.”

Student clubs and organizations and campus departments such as University Facilities and ServicesThe Faculty Student AssociationCulinArtTown of BrookhavenCampus RecreationTidal TeesStudent Voice on Campus Dining, Freight FarmSOMASMarine Science Club, Green House GuildSierra ClubSBU Athletic Bands, and the Office of Sustainability offered educational information tables about recycling and sustainability programs. SBU Athletic Bands performed to commence the celebration and get students excited about the event.

RecycleMania’s mission is to offer a fair and friendly competition that provides opportunities to inspire, empower and mobilize colleges and universities to benchmark and improve efforts to reduce or eliminate waste. It’s three main goals include motivating students and staff to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste generation, generating attention and support for campus recycling programs and encouraging colleges to measure and benchmark recycling activity in their effort to improve their programs over time.

For next year’s competition, RecycleMania is changing its name and logo to “Campus Race to Zero Waste” and will make the transition over the next several months. The new name better reflects and reinforces the purpose of the program – to help colleges and universities find pathways toward zero waste (90+% diverted from trash) on campus. A more comprehensive approach, zero waste accounts for everything from increasing recycling and food organics (composting) as a ratio of waste to reducing consumption, food waste and single-use plastics.

RecycleMania, Inc. governs all aspects of the program including the rules and structure of the competition. National Wildlife Federation is the manager of the RecycleMania: Campus Race to Zero Waste Program, and works in partnership with RecycleMania, Inc.

For more information visit stonybrook.edu/recyclemania.

For photos from the kickoff event, visit the Flickr gallery.

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