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Campus energy and recycling winners announced

Emory Report | Dec. 15, 2015

Emory's Office of Sustainability Initiatives has announced the winners of recent competitions centered on reducing energy use and increasing recycling. Held annually in October and November, the contests unite faculty, students and staff as the occupants of campus buildings compete to demonstrate the largest difference in comparison to the corresponding month of the previous year.

"These yearly competitions are helpful in reducing energy and landfill waste throughout the competition months," says Ciannat Howett, director of Sustainability Initiatives, “but beyond that, they raise consciousness and instill more sustainable habits amongst the Emory community.”

During October’s Energy Competition, the Emory community collectively saved 410,913 kilowatt hours of energy, the equivalent of 283 metric tons of carbon dioxide, for this year as compared to last year. The total greenhouse gas emissions prevented amounted to the annual emissions of nearly 60 cars and the total financial savings was more than $25,000.

The 2015 Energy Competition winners on Emory's Atlanta campus are O. Wayne Rollins Building (research) with a 12 percent decrease, the Modern Languages Building (academic/administrative) with a 16 percent decrease, and Delta Phi Epsilon (residence hall) with a 36 percent decrease. The Oxford College campus winner is Pierce Hall (academic/administrative), which decreased energy usage by 21.8 percent.

Whitehead Biomedical Research Building claimed the prize for the November Recycling Competition with a total of 7,580 pounds of recyclable materials collected. In the month of November, Emory building occupants collected 137,992 pounds (nearly 69 tons) of materials to be recycled and diverted from the landfill.

Energy Competition winners will receive $1,000 and the Recycling Competition winner will receive $3,000 to use toward a sustainability-related prize. In the past, buildings have purchased items like hydration stations, recycling equipment, and picnic tables to encourage occupants to spend time outside together.

To reduce energy throughout the year, building occupants are encouraged to turn off the lights and use lamps rather than overhead lighting, unplug appliances when not in use, and take the stairs instead of elevators.

Emory Recycles continues to work to reduce landfill waste and recently implemented a color-coded bag system that helps individuals classify waste into recyclable materials in blue bags and compostable materials in green bags to prevent contamination of waste streams.