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March 20, 2012

Grant helps boost recycling at Blinn

Alcoa Foundation will donate 60 recycling bins for Brenham campus

Blinn College has won a grant worth roughly $6,600 to aid the school in its recycling efforts on campus.

Alcoa Foundation recently announced that Blinn is one of 33 colleges and universities across the country to receive a total of 20,000 recycling bins. Blinn will receive 60 recycling bins for use in its campus recycling programs.

Alcoa Foundation’s recycling bin grant program helps schools boost their results during its annual RecycleMania competition while expanding recycling throughout the year. Blinn entered the national competition for the first time this year.

“Our continued support of RecycleMania is designed to achieve one thing: dramatically higher recycling rates,” said Beth Schmitt, director of recycling programs for Alcoa. “Through the recycling bin grant program, we want to encourage a social shift toward recycling on college campuses. We want to show that recycling is not only the right thing to do, it's the smart thing to do, and it’s something they should be in the habit of doing long after they leave college.”

To be eligible for the grant, Alcoa asked Blinn to participate in RecycleMania and document its current recycling efforts, weighing the beverage containers, paper and cardboard that the school recycles. Alcoa can then use Blinn’s recycling data to help the school improve its future recycling efforts, which are expected to surge with the addition of Alcoa’s bins.

“This grant will allow us to maximize our recycling efforts and place recycling bins at every building on campus,” said Geology Instructor Michael Dalman, who oversees the volunteer recycling collection. “It’s going to make a tremendous difference.”

RecycleMania is a friendly competition that aims to change behavior about recycling and raise awareness about waste reduction programs on campuses. During the competition, which concludes March 31, colleges and universities vie for top awards in nine categories to see which schools recycle the most on a per capita basis, produce the least amount of waste and recycle the largest percentage of their overall waste. In 2011, 630 colleges and universities participated in the challenge, collecting more than 91 million pounds of recyclables and compostable organics. Alcoa estimates that such recycling kept 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Blinn’s recycling efforts are part of the College’s Service Learning program, which combines community service with classroom instruction or student club activities. Service Learning programs involve students in activities that address local needs while developing their academic or professional skills.