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We Won Recyclemania 2013! Article in The Grove

Recyclemania 2013 Underway- February 3 to March 23

February 3, 2013 started Valencia College’s fourth year competing in the Recyclemania competition. Recyclemania is a national program, supported by the US EPA’s WasteWise program, in which colleges and universities compete for awards. In 2012, Valencia College won First Prize nationally in the Waste Minimization category. The trophy Mr. Pinman passed to us from North Lake College in Texas, who had kept it for several years.

We hope to keep this trophy for 2013 also, and while Jerry Cochran, Valencia's Recycling Coordinator who initiated the program, has recently retired, the college’s recycling effort and our enthusiastic competition in Recyclemania continue. Recyclemania encourages us to maximize diversion of the college’s waste from the landfill so that we reduce waste disposal costs, stimulate public awareness and show sensitivity to the environment. Marty Campbell, Superintendent Osceola Campus, and Boris Feijoo, Trades/Maintenance Supervisor, Osceola Campus have taken on the coordination of Recycling, in coordination with the Office of Sustainability.

Recyclemania is a lot of work for the coordinators, as they must report poundage of recycled material and of total waste weekly for ten weeks (and dumpsters are normally not weighed). According to the rules, reporting must include all campuses.

Since 2008, Valencia College has had bins for aluminum cans, plastic bottles and mixed paper on all campuses. Purchase of these bins was accomplished through the money saved in our waste disposal through the recycling program.

Receptacles for non-recyclable materials were labeled “Landfill” last year to remind everyone where the trash goes and to help students, faculty, and staff get in the habit of looking for a recycle bin. Please let the new recycling coordinators, custodial supervisors or Office of Sustainability know if there are Landfill bins with no Recycle bins nearby. The idea is that everyone always has a choice of where to throw items without walking too far.

Gray bins for mixed paper are in all the classrooms and office areas, and you see a location with extensive paper use without these bins, please contact the Office of Sustainability.

Although many people bring recyclables from home if they do not have curbside recycling for their neighborhoods or apartments, everyone is requested not to bring materials from home between February 3 and March 23, as this is supposed to reflect our school’s waste stream only.

We Won Recyclemania

The goal of Valencia's recycling program is to maximize the diversion of in-house generated waste material from disposal at the landfill for the purpose of reducing waste disposal costs, stimulating public awareness and showing sensitivity to the environment.

The vision of Valencia's recycling program is to expand into recycling of other materials which will be phased in as our program advances. An additional target is to get students involved as stakeholders to share in the experience of bettering the world around us through recycling.

Our program started in February 2007 with the recycling of paper at our East and West Campuses. Our Winter Park Campus, and The Criminal Justice Institute have been integrated into the program throughout the summer months of 2007. Starting in the fall semester of 2008, we are going to introduce the collection of aluminum cans, plastic bottles and mixed paper into our program at all Valencia campuses.

We are proud to announce that in July, 2010, after all of the recycling bills were paid, we processed enough recycling to receive a check for $242.19 from our recycling company. The program has proven itself profitable for Valencia College. View our facts and statistics.

Valencia Recycling Procedures

  • Large blue, green, and gray recycling containers will be located at the end of each building on each campus. The containers will have our," Valencia Recycles" logo stamped on them and will be clearly labeled for the particular recyclables to be placed in each. Blue containers are for aluminum cans, green containers for plastic drink bottles, and gray containers for mixed paper.
  • Custodial staffs collect the contents and deposit them into a larger recycling container. The recyclable materials are then collected by a contracted company and transported to a recycling center.

Plant Operations is responsible for administration and coordination of the recycling program. Please contact Jerry Cochran, Valencia's Recycling Coordinator, via e-mail jcochran@valenciacollege.edu, should you have any questions about our recycling program.


(Lizza Burgos-Reynoso from the Security Department demonstrating our new recycle containers.)

(Lizza Burgos-Reynoso from the Security Department demonstrating our new recycle containers.)

Paper recycling bins have been placed in all classrooms. Faculty members-Please encourage students to utilize the recycling bins.

In efforts to minimize waste, Valencia College has also installed water refilling stations, and is encourging less use of throwaway plastic water bottles. Refillable bottles in different styles are for sale at the Valencia College bookstores.

Electronic Waste Recycling Program

Valencia College has verbal agreements with three recyclers (A1-Assets, Orlando Recyclers and Southeastern Data) to pick up and recycle college electronic and some other surplus equipment. These agreements have been in place for more than five years. Any data from hard drives is wiped clean or destroyed. The equipment may be re-sold and the college gets 50% of the proceeds from the sale or the equipment is destroyed and disposed of as recycled material. Leased copiers are returned to the vendor at the end of its life cycle or at the end of the lease. Purchased copiers are still disposed of through our current recyclers the same as all of our other electronics. Surplus electronics and/or furniture are donated to non-profits when they request items or when the college has equipment that will benefit the community better with a second life.

Hazardous Waste Disposal

Valencia College instituted green cleaning practices in 2006, which have reduced our hazardous chemical waste. We also have implemented Integrated Pest Management which has virtually eliminated our use of pesticides.

Additionally, the science departments have implemented multi student lab experiments in order to reduce the amount of waste produced. In 2008, the college’s Science departments have implemented greener chemicals for classroom experiments.

Hazardous, Universal and non-regulated chemical waste is collected on our three major campuses and recycled through licensed disposal companies. Valencia College contracts with an outside firm to correctly dispose of all fluorescent light bulbs.

Recycle at Valencia

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