For the ninth year, UTMB is participating in RecycleMania – a friendly, 8-week competition for college and university recycling programs. 
UTMB is one of 392 schools, comprising 4.5 million students and 1.1 million faculty and staff participating in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Through March 29, UTMB students and staff will face off against other schools in 11 categories to see who recycles the most on a per capita basis; who produces the least amount of waste; and who recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream.
Last year, UTMB placed fourth overall in paper recycling and third in cardboard recycling out of 461 colleges and institutions. Sustainability Director Neal Cooper says UTMB has a great history of being the top recycling institution in Texas.
“UTMB is not only recognized for the Galveston National Lab, fabulous research and health system, but we are also recognized for how we recycle our trash,” said Cooper. “Just within the last five years, we have gone from a recycling rate of 25 percent to nearly 37 percent in 2014, which is phenomenal. It’s awesome that we have the opportunity to be a trendsetter and leader, even with our waste.”
Cooper encourages employees to help RecycleMania efforts by recycling as much paper, cardboard, plastic bags/wrap, Styrofoam, printer cartridges, and bottles and cans. All recyclables picked up through the end of March will be weighed and tallied weekly for the competition. 
“I applaud the efforts of everyone on campus and encourage them to recycle not only during this competition, but throughout the year,” said Cooper. “Many people don’t realize that our zip-top blue recycling bags aren’t just for paper – we accept and sort aluminum cans, plastic and Styrofoam, as well.” 
It all adds up. In 2014 alone, UTMB saved about 16,000 trees, 5.32 million gallons of water, 8,709 barrels of oil and avoided 42.56 tons of air pollution.  For more information on recycling and UTMB’s Office of Sustainability, click here.
UTMB will be celebrating Earth Day on May 1. The theme this year is “Plug in to the Power of Green.” More details on the event will be available soon.