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Natural Awakenings Atlanta

Kudos: GSU Wins “Wastewise” Honorable Mention

The US Environmental Protection Agency announced in January that it recognized Georgia State University with a 2017 WasteWise National Award Honorable Mention in the College and University category for waste prevention and diversion accomplishments.

“The WasteWise award winners have exemplified tremendous environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility, and we commend their efforts,” said Scott Pruitt, EPA administrator, in a recent press release.

GSU’s Sustainability Initiatives Department developed a hard-to- recycle-materials program that includes compacting polystyrene for resale, ac- cording to the EPA.

The university’s dining service uses tray-less dining and bulk condiments to avoid waste. It tracks and measures food waste. The EPA reports that in 2016, GSU composted more than 230 tons of dining waste and donated more than 8,000 pounds of excess food to Safe-house Atlanta.

The university also collects used cooking oil from dining halls and converts it to B20 bio-diesel mixture to fuel all university shuttles and diesel fleet vehicles.

The university’s total waste prevention and diversion efforts saved it more than $24,000 and kept 600 tons of waste out of landfills, reports the EPA.

Overall, the 16 winners nationwide, including seven honorable mentions, collectively prevented or recycled more than 355,801 tons of waste, saving $17.7 million in landfill waste fees, according to the EPA.

United States businesses, governments and nonprofits can apply to be a member of the EPA’s WasteWise program.


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