Inside USD

Out-Cycling the Competition: USD Wins RecycleMania for E-Waste

Monday, April 15, 2013

The results are in and the University of San Diego has won the electronics division of  the 2013 RecycleMania Tournament. During the eight-week competition from February to March, USD beat out participating colleges and universities across the country by collecting 80,000 pounds of old computers, monitors, cell phones and other e-waste.

USD “out-cycled” the competition by collecting more than eight pounds of e-waste per person on campus, almost doubling the rate of its closest competitor and collecting the third-largest amount of e-waste overall.

The news came during the second anniversary of USD’s E-waste Collection Center, which opened in April of 2011. “It was great to receive this news on our anniversary,” said Michael Catanzaro, director of Sustainability for USD. “The center continues to be a safe, secure and socially responsible way for San Diegans to dispose of e-waste and is a shining example of USD’s commitment to sustainability.”

Since its opening, the center has diverted more than 320,000 pounds of e-waste from landfills through reuse, repurposing and recycling. Much of the center’s success comes from the innovative methods it uses for collection, Catanzaro said.

The center is open six days a week, provides a one-stop service to collect all e-waste and also picks up waste from residences, businesses and schools. An innovative model of social entrepreneurship, the center provides a socially responsible revenue stream for the university as a whole that serves as a living laboratory for students to engage through classes and employment.

The center employs two full-time managers and five part-time student workers who not only gain valuable work experience but also play an integral role in creating and implementing best business practices for the future. The center also serves as a “living laboratory” for a variety of classes including communication studies, engineering, environmental studies, marketing and supply chain management.

The 2013 RecycleMania Tournament was an eight-week tournament aimed at promoting recycling efforts and waste reduction with the campus communities of colleges and universities across the United States and Canada.

– Liz Harman and Megan McDonough ‘14

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