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Chamber of Commerce honors Texas State as 'Green Business of Year'

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 15, 2013

Texas State University was honored as Large Employer Green Business of the Year for businesses with 50 or more employees during the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce's 111th Fall Awards Gala Nov. 14.

The award was accepted by Tina Cade, professor in the Department of Agriculture, and Juan Guerra, associate vice president of facilities.

The Chamber of Commerce uses seven criteria to determine the award recipient, and businesses must demonstrate initiatives in at least one of the categories to be considered: Waste Prevention; Recycling; Purchasing; Energy and Water Conservation; Involving Stakeholders in Greening Business Practices; Transportation; Operations; and Other.

"Clearly the university is showing green tendencies in all seven areas," said Brian J. Bondy, president of the Chamber of Commerce. "We focused on recycling. Pack It Up and Pass It On is a great benefit to the community. The Bobcat Blend composting program is impressive. But that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of everything the university is doing, and I don't say that lightly. There's an impressive list of green initiatives at Texas State.

"We see the university as a leader in the field," he said. "We want other businesses to step up to the plate and become as green as Texas State is."

The university's comprehensive waste management program annually recycles approximately 211 tons of mixed paper, 73 tons of cardboard, nine tons of plastic and one ton of aluminum. Batteries, laser toner and ink jet cartridges are also recycled.

Texas State holds "Pack It Up and Pass It On" at the end of each semester, allowing students moving out of residence halls to donate usable items--anything from clothing to appliances to furniture--that would otherwise be discarded. These items are then given to local families in need.

The Bobcat Blend composting program collects food waste from all of the cafeterias on campus and processes it into compost that is used in campus landscaping. Last school year, the crew collected more than 80.7 tons of food scraps from campus, a significant increase from the 27 tons collected just three years ago.

Other green initiatives on campus include ongoing lighting modifications, L.E.E.D certified new buildings and use of energy-saving equipment.