Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 63.30
Liaison Dennis Cochrane
Submission Date March 19, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

Virginia Tech
ER-2: Student Sustainability Outreach Campaign

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 5.00 / 5.00 Dennis Cochrane
Director, Office of Sustainability
Division of Campus Planning, Infrastructure and Facilities
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution hold a campaign that meets the criteria for this credit?:

The name of the campaign(s):
1. Virginia Tech Eco-Olympics; 2. RecycleMania

A brief description of the campaign(s):

1. Virginia Tech Eco-Olympics:

Summary: The on campus Eco-Olympics program was crafted by the Student Government Association in collaboration with the Office of Energy and Sustainability and the Director of Residence Life. This residence hall based competition focuses on one month where students compete to reduce their energy and water consumption as much as possible. The first implementation of the program was during the month of April 2010. The second and third years of the program were held during the months of February 2011 and March 2012, respectively. A commitment has been made to continue this competition on an annual basis. The 2013 competition is currently being planned and is expected to be held in during Fall 2013 semester.

Competition Details: Because all of the residence halls on campus are different, the halls were placed into five separate groups to compete in an equitable fashion. A point system was developed that awarded different points for different activities with the emphasis on significant energy consumption reductions. Students could score points for their hall through energy reduction on a per capita basis and by attending approved sustainability related events. A winner was chosen in each of the five groups and, based on cumulative points, a Grand Champion was selected. Winners were recognized publicly with banners on campus and a recycled metal trophy that was placed in the winning hall for the following year.

2. RecycleMania:

Summary: RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. The 2013 competition marks the eight consecutive year that Virginia Tech has participated in RecycleMania.

Competition Details: Over a 10-week period, schools report recycling and trash weight data in pounds. Five targeted materials are reported and include: bottles and cans, corrugated cardboard, paper, food service organics (composting), and trash. The first two weeks of the competition is a “trial period” for schools to practice the process of gathering and submitting data, and these results are not scored. The final eight weeks represents the “actual competition” and these results are scored. Cumulative results are posted each week. Schools are ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclable per capita, the largest amount of total recyclable, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

A brief description of the measured positive impact(s) of the campaign(s):

1. Virginia Tech Eco-Olympics:

Measurement and Positive Impacts: Electricity and water meters were read on each residence hall on a weekly basis and kept track of in both a robust spreadsheet. A reduction in energy and water consumption was seen in most residence halls, but varied significantly from week to week. Overall, there was a positive impact from the campaign in terms of energy reduction. For event based points, attendance sign in sheets were kept at all approved events that were managed by student volunteers.

For more information on Eco-Olympics, please see the Office of Energy & Sustainability's events page: http://www.facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/events.asp

2. RecycleMania:

Measurement and Positive Impacts: Actual weights for waste and recycling materials are provided by the Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority (MRSWA) in Christiansburg, Virginia. Actual weights for food composted material are provided by Poplar Manor Enterprises (PME) Compost, LLC. RecycleMania does not include Food Service Organics in their total recyclable figures as some schools don’t report that figure.

Fore more information on RecycleMania and to view Virginia Tech's weekly results, please see: http://www.facilities.vt.edu/sustainability/2013/recyclemania_2013.asp

The website URL where information about the sustainability outreach campaign(s) is available:

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.