Seattle University has been honored for its outstanding achievements in recycling by the Washington State Recycling Association (WSRA). The Recycler of the Year Award was presented at the association’s annual conference in Vancouver, Wash. Among the 11 recipients, Seattle University was the only university to win an award.
“We’re pleased to share this honor with other groups that share a commitment to sustainability,” said Timothy Leary, SU’s executive vice president. “Ecological justice is part of our Jesuit heritage and mission. It guides our day –to-day recycling, our policy of growth that promotes sustainable practices and LEED gold buildings, our pioneering work in pesticide-free gardening and our partnership with the community for improved transit and alternatives to cars. My thanks to Tyler Dierks, SU’s recycling coordinator, and others across campus for this good work.
WSRA honored the university on May 25 for its compost collection in food-service areas as well as in office kitchenettes and residence halls. (Dierks accepted the award on the university's behalf.) That work involves a recognized partnership with WFF Campus Custodial, the university’s contract custodial cleaning service, and Bon Appétit Management Co., which takes pride in offering sustainable food services on SU’s campus.
Buzz Hofford, food service director at SU for Bon Appétit, noted pre-consumer waste has been recycled for several years at SU.
“Implementing a post-consumer waste program has been a goal of mine for many years,” said Hofford. “It’s good to finally see it in action. The entire community – faculty, staff and students – has been super cooperative and supportive. Like many other initiatives (living wage, fair trade foods), this is a great example of how two values-based organizations (Bon Appétit and Seattle University) can partner together for positive change.”
Award recipients were chosen by a panel of WSRA members who represent many aspects of the recycling industry, including collectors and processors, government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations. To be considered for the award, overall environmental and economic benefit, level of commitment, innovation, economic benefit and transferability are key areas of consideration.