Richland College is passionate about going green, and the college has once again been recognized for its efforts. In late 2017, Richland College was awarded the City of Dallas Zero Waste Management Gold Level Green Business certification. Richland College is the first and only educational institution in the city to earn this recognition.
This certification distinguishes businesses and institutions that prevent waste, incorporate recycling and promote reuse, reduce and compost in its operations. There are three certification levels offered, and Richland College was awarded the gold level–the highest level. Richland College received this recognition for providing and tracking the recycling of 38 different materials while maintaining and monitoring an onsite waste-management program. Last year alone, Richland College recycled 485 tons.
“To be awarded the Gold Level Green Business certification through the City of Dallas Zero Waste Management offers Richland College several advantages,” said Sonia Ford, sustainability project coordinator and a member of the Dallas County Community College District Sustainability Team. “These include recycling assistance, a green business certification decal or certificate to display on our campus, permission to display this logo on our website and in other media, a listing on the city’s commercial recycling website and dallasrecycles.com and recognition at the city’s Green Business Leaders event. In addition, City of Dallas Zero Waste Management has officially posted Richland College’s certification video and content on all of its social media.”
Any business in Dallas that incorporates green practices and conserves resources can apply to become Green Business certified at either a bronze, silver or gold level. Businesses that receive this certification will save money, assist in protecting the environment and have their business recognized for its efforts in a variety of ways. The City of Dallas Zero Waste Management plan was passed in 2013, with a goal of having zero waste by 2040. For more information about The City of Dallas Zero Waste plan and Richland College’s certification, visit http://dallascityhall.com/departments/sanitation/Pages/greenbusiness.aspx.
Richland College has tracked energy consumption since 1975, and it records and assesses key performance indicators for energy and water usage and recycling. In 2010 and 2011, Richland College was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency WasteWise Award for University and College Partner of the Year. Richland College also won the national Recyclemania Grand Championship in 2016 and the Texas Grand Championship each year from 2010 to 2017. For more information about Richland College’s green initiatives, visit www.richlandcollege.edu/greenrichland.
Richland College was named the 2014 RecycleMania Grand Champion of Texas and ranked third nationally out of 461 participating colleges and universities.
RecycleMania’s mission of inspiring environmental and social consciousness fits perfectly with Richland College’s vision to build sustainable local and world community. Richland has participated in RecycleMania since 2009, taking the Texas Grand Champion title in 2014, 2012, 2011 and 2010.
RecycleMania’s Grand Champion category is based on a weekly recycling rate. Richland’s recycling rate for the competition was 75.1 percent. Antioch University Seattle was the 2014 RecycleMania National Grand Champion with a weekly recycling rate of 93.13 percent. University of Missouri-Kansas City finished second with 81.05 percent.
During 2014 RecycleMania, participating institutions collectively recycled or composted 89.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of 126,597 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere – equal to the annual emissions from 24,823 cars.
According to RecycleMania, Richland College’s activities during this year’s competition prevented the release of 335 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or the same reduction in greenhouse gases as removing 66 passenger cars from the road.
RecycleMania started in 2001 as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The competition has expanded from two schools in 2001 to 461 colleges and universities in 2014 spanning all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Canada.
Complete results for all 11 competition categories can be found on recyclemania.org, including a breakdown showing how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state and other groupings.