Agnes Scott College ranked No. 5 nationally for composting—averaging almost 21 pounds per person composted on campus—in Recyclemania, a national college and university recycling competition.
About 605 colleges and universities signed up for the eight-week competition, which pits institutions all over the country against each other in several categories to see which school can recycle the largest portion of their waste.
“We’re very excited that such a small college could break into the top 10 nationally in a division like composting,” said Justine Schwartz ’10, sustainability fellow at Agnes Scott. “A lot of our success is due to increased awareness about how our food waste is recycled—it’s hauled to a facility that produces nutrient-rich compost, rather than being sent to the landfill. We worked hard to provide very specific information about what can be composted at Agnes Scott.”
For the Per Capita Classic, determined by total pounds of recyclables collected per person, Agnes Scott ranked No. 2 in Georgia and No. 73 in the country.
Recycling and composting, part of the college’s goal to move closer to achieving zero waste, play a role in a much wider strategy to reduce Agnes Scott’s environmental impact. In 2010, the college completed a comprehensive, long-term Climate Action Plan, part of a commitment made with about 650 other colleges and universities all over the country that signed onto the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in order to reduce their impact on the environment. Agnes Scott’s CAP outlines strategies and five-year targets designed to achieve “climate neutrality” in time for its 150th anniversary in 2039.
Earlier this year, the college achieved a “silver” rating in the Sustainability, Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS), a program designed to encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Agnes Scott was a charter participant in STARS, administered by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). The college now diverts about 73 percent of its waste, which would otherwise have gone into landfills, through recycling and composting.
To learn more about sustainability initiatives at Agnes Scott College, visit:
Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times. Students are drawn to Agnes Scott by its excellent academic reputation, exceptional faculty and metropolitan Atlanta location – offering myriad cultural and experiential learning opportunities. A diverse and growing residential community of scholars, this highly selective liberal arts and sciences college is known for its dynamic and challenging intellectual community. Encouraging students to engage the wider world through study abroad and presenting its curriculum with international context, Agnes Scott College delivers on its promise: The World. For Women.