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University of Iowa News Release


Aug. 27, 2010

Recycling pays off at UI convocation and president’s block party

Ramped up recycling and composting efforts at the University of Iowa convocation and president’s block party Aug. 22 kept 78 percent of the waste generated at the events from going to the landfill. A total of 1,600 pounds of recyclable and compostable material was diverted from the landfill, underscoring the UI's commitment to sustainability.

Volunteers encouraged the estimated 4,200 students who attended the events to recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans and compost food scraps, plates, napkins and forks made out of cornstarch.

Their efforts paid off. Here are some numbers that show how much material was recycled:
--680 pounds cardboard
--760 pounds compostable material (food, paper, cornstarch utensils etc.)
--35 pounds aluminum cans
--125 pounds plastic bottles

Student volunteers from the UI Environmental Coalition, Engineers for a Sustainable World and ECO Hawk worked with community environmental advocates and the event planning committee to make these green events successful. UI Dining Services purchased compostable dinnerware, and the President's Office worked with the Office of Sustainability and Facilities Management to increase the number of recycling and compost stations.

UI sustainability officials will continue working to reduce the amount of waste headed to the landfill and improve the diversion rate of next year's convocation and block party. The Office of Sustainability partners with event organizers across campus to find ways to “green” their events. Dance Marathon planners are also considering ways to minimize waste at their event.

For more information about sustainability at UI see

STORY SOURCE: The University of Iowa Office of Sustainability, 346 University Services Building, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

MEDIA CONTACTS: Liz Christiansen, director, Office of Sustainability, 319-335- 5516,; George McCrory, University News Services, 319-384-0012,