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Emory earns honors for keeping Georgia beautiful

By Kim Urquhart | Emory Report | Dec. 11, 2013

A commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle earned Emory a top honor from Keep America Beautiful. Emory placed first in the waste reduction category of the Keep Georgia Beautiful 2013 Awards Program. The Keep Georgia Beautiful Foundation awards luncheon is set for Dec. 11 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

The award, from the local affiliate of the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful, recognizes efforts to minimize the impact of waste, promote recycling, and methods of responsible waste handling in the campus community.

Deena Keeler, assistant director of auxiliary services in Campus Services, says she is grateful to faculty, staff and students who have supported campus waste reduction efforts through recycling and composting and, in particular, her team from Emory Recycles.

"The dedicated team that works alongside me every day makes awards like this possible," she says.  "A special thanks also goes out to our teammates in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Grounds, Staging, and Building and Residential Services."

Keeler also thanked the Sustainability Building Representatives who serve as "strong partners in waste minimization at Emory" whose "guidance, support and hard work have contributed greatly to this award."

In 2013, Emory's campus composting program diverted a total of 656 tons of food waste, wood waste and animal bedding from Georgia landfills.

Emory's composting efforts earned the University another award earlier this year. In August, the Georgia Recycling Coalition presented Emory with the 2013 Spirit of Green Innovation Award for exemplifying unique programs or processes that increase recovery of recycled materials.

The University's overall goal is to divert Emory's total waste stream by 65 percent by 2015, including recycling 100 percent of electronics waste and road construction materials and composting, recycling or reusing at least 95 percent of food waste, animal bedding, and building construction materials.