The city of Los Angeles has honored Loyola Marymount University with the first-ever Platinum recycLA Star Award for its sustainability efforts, including the university’s on-campus recycling center.
recycLA is the new recycling and waste collection program for commercial and large apartment buildings throughout the the City.
“Sustainability has always been a key part of LMU’s operations, from on-site recycling to solar panels and LEED-certified construction,” said Lynne Scarboro, LMU’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer. “We teach students not simply to care for the environment, but to help create the world we want to live in, and the university’s commitment to making our campus as green as possible shows that. We’re proud and humbled to receive the recycLA Platinum Star award from the City of Los Angeles.”
The recycLA Star Award recognizes business and apartment owners who embrace recycLA’s recycling, landfill diversion, and food rescue opportunities. RecycLA Stars are actively engaged in food recovery, changes in materials sourcing, composting and making other contributions to landfill diversion, beyond increasing recycling. Award recipients can receive the Green, Silver, Gold, or Platinum level award.
“We’re proud to award LMU the City’s very first Platinum recycLA Star,” Board of Public Works Vice President Heather Marie Repenning stated. “Not only is LMU setting the standard in environmental sustainability, it is getting students involved and creating lasting habits that will benefit the City of Los Angeles well into the future.”
LMU has an impressive recycling rate of nearly 84 percent. The University recycles over 6,000 tons of materials annually, with on-site recycling and food waste programs that turn food and recyclable paper into nutrient-rich soil enhancements.
From 2011 to 2017 alone, LMU reduced its food service disposal and diversion tonnage from 101 tons to 33.7 tons, an over 65% reduction in total food service waste in just 6 years. Through its Office of Sustainability, LMU also employs over 21 paid student employees and supports numerous internships, research and service credits for academic work.
“LMU is a shining example of what is possible when we work together and put the cleanliness and health of our City first,” said Enrique C. Zaldivar, LA Sanitation Director and General Manager. “Through recycLA and organizations like LMU, we are quickly making landfills a thing of the past and moving closer to achieving zero waste.”
LMU has been recognized nationally for its sustainable practices. In 2017, the university received the national Grand Champion Diversion award from Keep America Beautiful’s RecycleMania competition – the nation’s premier waste-reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities. Other recognitions include being ranked one of the top 10 “Cool Schools” by the Sierra Club and receiving the Green Restaurant Association’s (GRA) 4 Star ranking for its two main dining facilities.
In July 2017, LA Sanitation launched an unprecedented expansion of its recycling services beyond single family residences through its program, called “recycLA”. With the rollout phase complete, LA Sanitation and recycLA Service Providers have transitioned more than 70,000 commercial and apartment building accounts to the new program. The city has set a goal of “zero waste” by 2025.