The University of Washington has received a WasteWise honorable mention from the Environmental Protection Agency for colleges or universities that excel at waste prevention, recycling and buying or manufacturing recycled-content products. The honor was awarded last month at an EPA Business Sustainability Forum, hosted by Microsoft in Redmond.
“Its an honor to receive this award on behalf of the university,” said Gene Woodard, UW building services director. “This is an important milestone in our community-wide effort to increase waste diversion. Being recognized by the EPA in front of regional sustainability leaders was an extraordinary experience.”
Waste diversion involves redirecting waste away from landfills by such things as recycling and composting. The university reported a diversion rate of 57 percent for 2011, translating into 6,417 tons of waste diverted from landfills. Campus waste diversion efforts also aided in avoiding disposal costs of more than $900,000.
“The EPA's WasteWise award gives us further incentive to build on our sustainability efforts here at the UW,” said Emily Newcomer, program operations manager for UW Recycling & Solid Waste.