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Rewarded for recycling

Drake wins the Iowa Recycling Association Best School Recycling Program award

Drake University’s commitment to sustainability continues to grow and serve as an example that implementing policy designed to protect the environment is possible and pragmatic.

Recently, Drake’s Blue is Green recycling program was selected by the Iowa Recycling Association to receive the 2011 Best School Recycling Program award. The honor will be presented at the organization’s annual luncheon on July 14.

Drake Facilities received a grant from the Department of Natural Resources and created the program in 2010 to qualify the University for single-stream recycling, a cost-effective process in which papers and plastics are mixed together for processing.

To implement the recycling program, facilities employees were assigned new duties pertaining to recycling and residence halls formed student committees to help encourage recycling practices.

Now, a Drake truck regularly delivers recyclables to Green Star’s single-stream recycling center in downtown Des Moines. Between October 2009 and June 2010, 62 tons of waste was diverted from the Des Moines landfill, saving the University $2,418 in fees.

As part of the ongoing recycling initiative, Drake has also installed recycling containers throughout campus, added a 40-gallon recycling container to the custodians’ trash pick-up carts and added outdoor dumpsters to already existing trash enclosures.

“It is important for Drake to have a strong campus recycling program to enhance our commitment to sustainability,” says Mark Chambers, Drake’s director of facilities.

— Nicki Mittelbrun, class of 2013