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Penn’s Sustainability Efforts and RecycleMania 2010
February 9, 2010, Volume 56, No. 21


Dear Penn Community:

Last fall Penn completed its Climate Action Plan and launched a series of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and enhance overall sustainability practices. As part of that commitment we are once again participating in the nation-wide competition, RecycleMania.  This 10-week contest among 400 colleges and universities kicked off January 17 and is designed to encourage students, faculty and staff to increase their recycling and minimize waste. Penn is competing in a division against its “Ivy Plus” peers in categories such as: collecting the most amount of recyclables per person; collecting the most total recyclables; achieving the highest recycling rate; and generating the least amount of trash per person.

 In 2009 Penn placed first among its Ivy League peers in minimizing waste, but demonstrated a need for improvement in other categories. We are currently recycling only 23 percent of our waste.  Our goal for RecyleMania in 2010 is to reach 30 percent, and by 2014 to be consistently recycling 40 percent of our waste. 

 Recycling and minimizing waste is an easy and effective way to support Penn’s goal of operating a “green” campus. We are calling on you to help us meet our recycling goals by doing the following:   

Report buildings without recycling bins: If your building does not have recycling bins, e-mail sustainability@upenn.edu and make a request.

 Learn what can be recycled at Penn: Visit the Green Campus Partnership Resources page to download posters for your building www.upenn.edu/sustainability/resources/posters.html

 Go Beyond Recycling: Avoid buying things you don’t really need and items with short life spans; buy in bulk to reduce packaging and purchase products that you can reuse rather than throw away. Visit Purchasing Services’ new Green Purchasing website, www.purchasing.upenn.edu/green-initiative/, to learn how to improve your purchasing practices and take advantage of discounts on green products for your office or department.

 Reduce, reuse and recycle paper and cardboard:  Reduce the amount of paper you use by printing only when necessary, double-siding jobs, and reusing one-sided pages. Flatten and recycle all cardboard boxes, recycle old newspapers and magazines, and e-mail sustainability@upenn.edu to arrange a hard cover book pickup.

 Bring your own bottle and get your fill:  Many Penn departments and College Houses have eliminated bottled water by installing UV tap water filters or Quench machines. During RecycleMania, you can also bring your mug and get free coffee on campus. Check the Green Campus Partnership website, www.upenn.edu/sustainability/recyclemania.html, for times and locations.

Dispose of electronic waste properly:  Penn recycles old computers, electronics, and appliances, compact fluorescent light bulbs and batteries. Visit the Green Campus Partnership website, www.upenn.edu/sustainability/waste.html, to learn when and where to drop off e-waste.

Donate to PennMOVES at the end of the year:  Since 2007, Penn Business Services has conducted PennMOVES, www.business-services.upenn.edu/housing/pennmoves/, a campus recycling and re-use drive during move-out. Items collected are re-sold with the proceeds going to the United Way to help local charities.

 We encourage you to play your part in helping Penn achieve its goals. To learn more about recycling and Penn’s Climate Action Plan please visit the Green Campus Partnership website: www.upenn.edu/sustainability/

—Craig Carnaroli, Executive Vice President
—Vincent Price, Provost

RecycleMania Weekly Update

RecycleMania is well underway, and Penn’s Green Campus Partnership is reaching out with weekly updates regarding the competition and the initiatives being taken by the University community. The 2009 standings are online, and next week’s update will feature Penn’s first measured results for the 2010 competition.

Spread the news about upcoming events and learn about a new sustainability program being launched.

Thank you for being a partner in our collaborative efforts to increase our recycling and minimize our waste on campus. We are looking forward to reaching our 30% recycling rate target!


Check back each week to see where Penn stands against its peers throughout the RecycleMania competition:

www.upenn.edu/sustainability/recyclemania.html#rmstandings.View the standings for RecycleMania 2009 now. In future weeks, you will be able to view Penn’s weekly performance, the standings for Ivy Plus, City Six, and Greater Philadelphia Region institutions. Visit www.recyclemania.org to view the complete national standings.

Green Campus Partnership


Related: Writing Instruments Brigade; Green Acorn Certification Program; Call for Office Eco-Reps


Almanac - February 9, 2010, Volume 56, No. 21