SMU tops Texas private universities in final RecycleMania 2011 standings

SMU RecycleMania logoAggressive recycling by students, faculty and staff pushed SMU to first place among Texas private colleges and universities in the 2011 RecycleMania competition’s per capita category. The University amassed a whopping 18.15 pounds of recyclable material per person over the eight-week competition.

SMU placed second among all 22 Texas colleges and universities in the per capita category, and in the top 15 percent nationwide when the results were measured against the 363 colleges and universities competing in that category.

This was the 11th year for the annual RecycleMania competition, and only the second year that SMU has entered the competition division.

“I want to thank everyone on campus for their participation,” said Eric English, environmental manager and co-chair of the SMU Sustainability Committee. “Since this was only our second year in the competition division, I believe you all should give yourselves a big round of applause. I can’t wait until next year.”

Results in the various RecycleMania categories were measured for eight weeks, Feb. 6-April 2. The tournament started with two pre-season reporting weeks beginning Jan. 23, meaning that RecycleMania was a 10-week experience for participating colleges and universities.

SMU collected 119 tons of recyclable material during this year’s competition, compared to 78 tons collected during the 10-week period last year. The Sustainability Committee also sponsored an inter-campus recycling competition during RecycleMania, resulting in these winners in three categories:

  • Residence Hall Winner: Perkins Hall
  • Academic/Athletic Facility Winner: Bridwell Library
  • Area/School Winner: Central Library

Written by Kim Cobb

> Find more RecycleMania 2011 results at the SMU News site
> Learn more about recycling from Sustainability @ SMU

University carpenter nails down top prize in 2011 Art of Recycling Contest

Nolberto Salas' 'Happiness in Wood,' winner of SMU's 2011 Art of Recycling Contest“Happiness in Wood” (left) is well named: The artwork, created by SMU carpenter Nolberto Salas using boards mostly found in a campus trash bin, took first prize in the 2011 Art of Recycling Contest sponsored by SMU’s Sustainability Committee.

Salas won a Dahon folding bicycle valued at $500.

Eric Owen Tacker took second place and a $50 iTunes gift card for his “Hey Joe!!/Dear God” work. Honorable mentions went to Laura Ries (“For the Love of Grandpa and the World”) and Janis Jessen (“Keep Our Earth and Waters Clean – Be a Friend to a Fish”).

The art contest will be an annual event to help raise awareness about the national RecycleMania competition, running this year through April 2. “Happiness,” along with other recycled material artworks by SMU staffers, will be on display through this week in RFoC @ Lee in Umphrey Lee Center.

> Last week to help SMU score in RecycleMania 2011 – learn more here
> Visit Sustainability @ SMU online

Eco-chic hits the runway March 25 as RecycleMania 2011 continues

Model with dress and tote bag made from recycled Capri Sun drink pouchesSamaiya Mushtaq believes a commitment to sustainability can be a fashion statement. The SMU chemistry major is paving the way, via the catwalk, for the University’s first eco-fashion show. The event is set for 6 p.m. March 25 in SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Varsity Room.

The cost of admission is one recyclable item, such as a spent plastic bottle or aluminum can. The event is open to the community, and food will be provided.

Supporting the University’s competitive efforts in the nationwide RecycleMania 2011 contest, the event will showcase fashion designs featuring at least 75 percent reclaimed, recycled, natural and/or organic materials. Each design must be original, and no more than two designers may collaborate on a work. The winning designers will take home gift cards.

“We wanted to do something creative and fun that would add an entertaining twist to the idea of recycling and reusing,” says Mushtaq, whose studies in chemical recycling led her to become a student environmental representative on SMU’s Sustainability Committee. “We heard about a fashion show that took place in Dallas in December and saw its success on other campuses, so we thought it was perfect.”

Meanwhile, SMU’s sustainability team is issuing a new challenge: Which academic or athletic campus building can collect the most recyclables during the remainder of the RecycleMania competition? The battle of the buildings will run through April 2.

“This is the beginning of a new tradition,” says SMU Environmental Manager Eric English. The winner will receive a RecycleMania plaque during the 2011 President’s Picnic May 25.

“This would be a great time to do those office clean-outs you’ve been wanting to do,” English says. “Just do it!”

To stay competitive in RecycleMania, toss recyclables in their proper place. Put these “single-stream recyclables” in blue bins or containers lined with clear bags:

  • Books and magazines
  • Aluminum cans
  • Cardboard
  • Paper
  • Shrink-wrap
  • Milk jugs and plastic bottles
  • Newspapers
  • Phone books

The exception: Place corrugated cardboard boxes alongside the bins for each building’s custodian to compact or bale.

For more details on RecycleMania, visit Find more information about SMU’s recycling efforts online, or contact Eric English, 214-768-2163.

Written by Denise Gee

(Above, a dress and tote bag made from recycled drink pouches represent eco-chic at its most colorful.)

> Get the national and residence hall RecycleMania rankings from SMU News

Calendar Highlights: Mar. 7, 2011

Dr. RankinMost important Wednesday of the year: SMU’s Office of the Chaplain and Religious Life will lead the 2011 Ash Wednesday service at noon Wednesday, March 9 in Perkins Chapel. All are welcome to attend.

Rescheduled lecture: As posted in Calendar Highlights before the epic February snowstorms, Dr. Stephen Rankin (pictured) will present a Willson Lecture titled “Seeking a Better Way: SMU as a Leader in Church-Affiliated Higher Education.” The rescheduled lecture will take place at noon Thursday, March 10 in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. The lecture is free for all to attend; lunch will be served at 11:30 a.m. For more information, visit the a Office of the Chaplain’s website.

A concert for the road: Meadow Symphony Orchestra is putting together one more concert this week before Spring Break begins. At 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10, in the Meyerson Symphony Center, the MSO will present Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, also known as “The Prague.” Also included will be Austrian composer Anton Bruckner’s Symphony No. 5 in its entirety. Tickets are available through both the Meadows box office and the Meyerson itself. Prices are $13 for adults, $10 for seniors, and $7 for SMU faculty, staff and students. For more information, call the Meadows box office at 214-768-ARTS (214-SMU-ARTS).

Sun MaskCreate treasure from trash, receive new bike: SMU’s 2011 Art of Recycling Contest is officially open to all participants. For one week, people with a mind towards unusual art can create made up of items that would otherwise end up in the trash can as a reminder of what can be recycled in this world but often isn’t. Among the rules: 75% of the artwork must consist of reused items that would otherwise be regarded as trash; the artwork should not exceed 4 feet by 4 feet; and each entry should include a list of the reused materials and its theme (if applicable), title and artist contact information. The submission deadline is Friday, March 11. All entries and related information should be brought to the first floor of the Laura Lee Blanton Building. Winners will be notified by March 21, and their artwork will be on display at the RFoC cafeteria at Umphrey Lee. The SMU Sustainability Committee, who is sponsoring the event, will donate one Dahon Folding Bike (valued at $500) to the winner of the contest. For more details about the Art of Recycling Contest, contact Kelly Milazzo, 214-768-0495. (Pictured right: “Big Sun Mask” by Diane Kurzyna, an entry from last year’s contest.)

There will be no Calendar Highlights for the upcoming Spring Break week. Have a safe and fun holiday, wherever you may end up!

Spring comes up green as SMU competes in RecycleMania 2011

SMU RecycleMania imageEveryone’s trash – in the form of paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard – will be SMU’s treasure during RecycleMania 2011, now running through April 2.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities in their campus communities.

SMU will collect and track recycling materials throughout the 10-week competition involving hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the nation. That data will then be ranked according to the largest amount of recyclables per capita, largest amount of total recyclables and highest recycling rate.

How can those on the SMU campus help the University rise in the RecycleMania ranks? It’s simple: Sort things out.

“It’s especially important that we place anything that can be recycled [other than corrugated cardboard] either in blue bins or trash cans lined with clear bags,” says Eric English, SMU’s environmental manager. The University’s ranking in the competition goes higher the more the bins are used.

“Corrugated cardboard is an exception: It should be collected by each building’s custodians, who will help get it compacted or baled. Traditional garbage should go in a trash bin’s black bag,” English added.

Last year, SMU collected 77.59 tons of recycled material and placed 5th out of 21 competing Texas universities in the Per Capita Classic division (ahead of Rice, Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and Texas A&M). Overall, SMU finished 107 out of 346 schools in the Per Capita Classic Single-Stream (paper, cans and bottles) division and 151 out of 231 in the Targeted Materials (corrugated cardboard) division.

“SMU is known for its commitment to excellence,” English says. “This is one way to prove what we can do on the sustainability front.”

To learn more about or volunteer for SMU recycle programs, sustainability initiatives and how RecycleMania works, contact English at 214-768-2163 or by e-mail.

> Find more information at the RecycleMania site
> Visit the SMU Sustainability Committee online
> Learn more about SMU’s recycling programs

Go green for St. Patrick’s Day to support SMU Recyclemania

Recycled shamrockOn March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day 2010 – the SMU Sustainability Committee is sponsoring a “spring cleaning” to support the University’s participation in the international 2010 Recyclemania competition.

It’s a great opportunity to clean out old files, get rid of unwanted papers, and support SMU in the process.

Think green and act green by putting unwanted paper into one of the blue plastic recycling bins located throughout campus. The more you put into the blue bins, the higher SMU’s ranking in the competition will be.

For more information on Recyclemania and to see SMU’s current standing in the international competition, visit Find complete information about the greening of SMU at