UIW Recognized Nationally for Green Game Recycling Effort

May 23, 2024

University competed in National Wildlife Federation’s 2024 Campus Race to Zero Waste

Convocation Center with Badge "Campus Race to Zero Waste 2024 Winner Gameday Basketball Per Capital RecyclingSan Antonio – May 23, 2024 – The University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) is proud to announce that it has been recognized nationally for its recycling effort during the annual Green Game which took place during the UIW Women’s Basketball game on February 29, 2024. The national competition, known as the Campus Race to Zero Waste, is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities. The competition is managed by the National Wildlife Federation and governed by Recyclemania, Inc. UIW won the “Per Capita Recycling” award in the Gameday Basketball Category.

Dr. Benjamin Miele, associate professor of English and Chair of the UIW Sustainability Advisory Board, credits pre-game publicity by the UIW Sustain student group and efforts leading up to the game with the success of the event. He also says the award could not have been achieved without student volunteers and the incredible leadership of outgoing UIW Sustain President, Andrea Gomez-Jackson.

“It is once again a time to celebrate sustainability at UIW,” says Miele. “This is UIW’s second win in the past three years. It is encouraging to students, who often wonder aloud if there is anything they can reasonably do to counteract climate change and global heating, and it shows that concrete change comes from the community. We are one of many institutions of higher education who participate in this every year. Together, we reduced emissions by 23,174 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is heartening to students, who then want to do more. Students consistently come up to me and ask if we can do this at every sporting event at UIW. I don’t see why not. All it takes is a few hours of their time.”

According to the National Wildlife Federation, UIW joined more than 2.7 million college students and staff across the country in the competition to reduce the campus waste footprint through minimization efforts by donating, composting and recycling more than 30.7 million pounds of waste. As a result, collectively, the effort kept more than 105 million single-use plastic containers out of landfills and prevented the release of 23,174 metric tons equivalent of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 5,515 cars.

“This year’s college and university competition participants made enormous strides on waste reduction and integrating sustainable practices throughout their campuses,” said Kristy Jones, director of higher education programs at National Wildlife Federation. “These collective actions to reduce the schools’ waste footprints are inspiring and are making a tangible positive impact on the environment.”

“Our 2024 winners show why colleges continue to be among our nation’s leaders on sustainability. These schools run the gamut – urban and rural, public and private, large and small,” says Stacy Wheeler, president and co-founder of the competition. “Their success shows that waste reduction in any type of community is possible and is a testament to every student, faculty, and staff member who made these accomplishments happen.”

Campus Race to Zero Waste has been helping campuses minimize waste and improve recycling efforts since its launch in 2001. For more information on UIW’s efforts, check out the UIW Sustain student group Instagram page, @UIW_Sustain.


Media Contact: Michael Valdes, Media and Public Relations Manager,Office of Communications & Brand Marketing, (210) 829-6001, (210) 422-4052 or michael.valdes@uiwtx.edu

About UIW

With over 140 years of tradition, the University of the Incarnate Word is committed to educational excellence in a context of faith in Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Word of God. UIW programs constitute a liberal education that fosters a well-grounded intellectual resilience, a disposition toward lifelong learning, and an acceptance of responsibility for the ethical consequences of our ideas and actions. Founded in 1881, UIW is the largest Catholic university in the state and the fourth largest private university in Texas. UIW students can choose from degrees offered at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. The University is committed to graduating students with the lowest amount of debt load possible and to help them secure a career that lifts their lives, their families and their communities. With a beautiful main campus in the heart of San Antonio, in 2019, UIW purchased a 10-acre landmark property at 4119 Broadway which increased the footprint of the UIW Broadway Campus by 15%. The building is now known as Founders Hall. UIW has locations throughout San Antonio, South and Central Texas, two campuses in Mexico and a European Study Center in Strasbourg, France. UIW is a leader in international education, with over 146 “sister schools” in 45 countries and it is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution. The University is a member of the NCAA Division I Southland Conference and is proud to have 25 teams representing 14 different sports. UIW is a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word.