For the seventh year, UTMB Health will participate in RecycleMania—a friendly, 8-week competition for college and university recycling programs. In 2012, UTMB placed first in three of the nine categories against Texas schools. Nationally, we placed seventh in paper recycling and ninth in cardboard recycling.

Employees can help RecycleMania efforts by starting their spring office cleaning early. Beginning February 3, be mindful to recycle as much paper, cardboard, plastic bags/wrap, printer cartridges, bottles and cans as possible. All recyclables picked up until the end of March will be weighed and tallied weekly for Recyclemania. Students may bring theirrecyclable items from their dorms/home—contact Ken Steblein ( for drop off location.

Did you know that our blue recycling bags aren’t just for paper? Everything UTMB Sustainability accepts for recycling can be separated and collected in the zip-top blue recycling bags. Aluminum cans, glass containers, plastic and Styrofoam must be clean, and it’s recommended to use an additional trashcan liner bag for these items. See photo for a good example of an office recycling station.

Sustainability Manager Neal Cooper of is very proud of our recycling rate. “We met our 2012 recycling rate goal of 29 percent. Our goal for 2013 is 35 percent and so far we’re averaging 35.59%.”

Cooper also cited a partnership for Styrofoam recycling with the City of Galveston as another point of pride. Using the city’s densifier, we were able to recycle Styrofoam packing materials collected over the course of nine months here that were equal to enough Styrofoam cups to fill UTMB’s entire Primary Care Pavilion from floor to ceiling. The densifier removes air from Styrofoam making collection much more compact and efficient.

A recent accomplishment for Sustainability was collecting nearly 200 Christmas trees on campus as part of a 19-year composting/mulching partnership with the City of Galveston.

In addition to waste management and recycling, UTMB Sustainability focuses on energy management and transportation initiatives.

One change bettering our energy management is switching our lights from fluorescent tubes to LED bulbs. Use of LED bulbs reduces energy used for lighting by 50 percent. “Our goal is to replace 15,000 fluorescent lights and we are about halfway there now,” said Cooper.

A welcome addition to our transportation initiatives, the opening of Victory Lakes Park-and-Ride in 2012, increased participation in our transit program by 25%.

For more information about UTMB’s Sustainability initiatives, go to and for RecycleMania, .