UW-La Crosse has its own rubbish collection truck, and because of this, is able to recycle a larger variety of materials than our surrounding communities. Recycling is an integral part to becoming a sustainable campus. At UW-L, a high priority is placed on recycling, because a significant portion of our waste stream goes to the French Island incinerator, a waste-to-energy plant. Located on an island in the Mississippi, this facility is one of only a handful in the country that burn refuse-derived fuel to generate electricity. Because most of our waste is burned, it is important that as much of it gets recycled as possible.
UW-L has launched an R-5 program (http://www.uwlax.edu/fpm/recycling/index.htm) to “close the loop” as we enhance our recycling efforts. UW-L also participates in the RecycleMania competition annually to increase student and staff awareness of and participation in our recycling program.
RecycleMania (http://www.uwlax.edu/fpm/recycling/recyclemania.htm) is a nation-wide (but becoming world-wide) 10-week competition between colleges and universities every spring to see who can recycle the most. This competition functions as a tool that allows us to compare our efforts with other schools. From RecycleMania results and ongoing recycling logs, we proudly promote that UW-La Crosse recycles approximately 33% of our waste stream. UW-L will continue to focus on improving our recycling rate. Just as important as the recycling rate is the amount of waste generated per person. RecyleMania results demonstrate that within the UW-System UW-L is a top performer in generating the least amount of waste per person.