Iowa aims for 1st place conference finish at RecycleMania 2015


Herky and several University of Iowa students march around campus to promote RecycleMania 2015. (UI Office of Sustainability)
Herky and other University of Iowa students march around campus to promote RecycleMania. (UI Office of Sustainability)

Nick Fetty | February 3, 2015

After placing second in the Big Ten last year, the University of Iowa is aiming to take the conference’s number one spot in the RecycleMania 2015 challenge.

RecycleMania 2015 kicked off on February 1 and will continue through March 28. The eight-week event aims to educate students and other members of the University of Iowa community about the importance of recycling. Participants are encouraged to fill out the RecycleMania Pledge and Quiz to be entered to win weekly prize packages including a RecycleMania mug, lunch container, tote bag, and New Pioneer Co-op snacks.

RecycleMania is part of a nationwide program that began in 2001 between Ohio University and Miami University (Ohio). Since its inception, millions of students from 727 colleges and universities have recycled and composted more than 650 million pounds of material during the tournament’s time-frame.

Competing schools are critiqued on amount of trash and recyclable items collected divided per capita as well as  “which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling.” Last year, Purdue University had the highest recycling rate in the Big Ten at 39.4 percent followed by Iowa with 34 percent. Iowa finished 5th in the conference in 2013.

Nearly 400 colleges and universities around the country are participating in this year’s event. The state of Iowa has three institutions in this year’s tournament: The University of Iowa, Loras College, and Wartburg College.

Wartburg College receives grants for environmental research


Nick Fetty | July 16, 2014
Dancing St. Francis statue on the Wartburg College campus. Photo via Wikipedia Commons
Dancing St. Francis statue on the Wartburg College campus.
Photo via Wikipedia Commons

Faculty and researchers at Wartburg College have received two grants for different types of environmental research.

A grant awarded by the U.S. Forestry Service will provide funding for studying and improving streams. Students, faculty, and other researchers will study steams and adjacent areas in the Superior National Forest located in northeast Minnesota.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources also awarded Wartburg with funding so researchers can study the presence of rusty crayfish in the Shell Rock and Winnebago River drainages. The rusty crayfish, which is non-native to Iowa, displaces native crayfish, reduces certain fish populations, and causes other ecological problems.

The college also received funding to participate in a three-year project that aims to offer advanced online degrees.

Wartburg is a private liberal arts college with 1,747 undergraduate students located in Waverly, Iowa.  A second campus, Wartburg College West, is located in Denver, Colorado.

On the Radio: Car-sharing helps reduce Iowa’s fuel consumption


Photo by davereid2, Flickr.

Listen to this week’s radio segment here or read the transcript below. This week’s episode focuses on the benefits of cycling in Iowa.

Car-sharing services are popping up across Iowa to offer transportation flexibility while helping the environment.

This is the Iowa Environmental Focus.

Continue reading

Iowa colleges participate in Recycle Mania


Photo by University of Maryland Press Releases, Flickr

Beginning last month and continuing till the end of March, Loras College, Simpson College, Wartburg College, University of Iowa, Iowa State University, Mount Mercy University, Upper Iowa University and Grinnell College are all competing in Recycle Mania.

These schools are competing to see who can recycle the most per capita, who has the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and who has the least amount of combined trash and recycling at the end of eight weeks.

Through two weeks, campuses across the nation have reduced the equivalent of 18,522 metric tons of CO2.

Read more about Wartburg College’s efforts here. Last year, Wartburg started a $2 million project focused on environmental sustainability.