Northwest Missouri State University topped other colleges and universities throughout the nation this spring when it came to recycling electronic items. The final results of the 2024 Campus Race to Zero Waste competition show Northwest placed first in the category of Electronics Recycling Per Capita by recycling 3.9 pounds per capita and submitting a total of 20,343 pounds, which amounts to more than 10 tons. The items included batteries, lamps, televisions, monitors, laptops and other computer equipment.

Northwest began participating in the annual competition in 2005 to raise awareness about campus recycling and waste reduction. “We were delighted to receive notification of our first-place finish in the Electronics Per Capita Recycling Category, particularly because this was the first time we participated in that category,” said Tim Hill, Northwest’s sustainability coordinator. “Even more importantly, we kept more than 10 tons of potentially hazardous e-waste out of the landfill.”

In other categories, Northwest ranked No. 32 in waste diversion with a rate of 38.3 percent and No. 47 in minimizing food waste. Northwest joined more than 2.7 million college students and employees throughout the country in the eight-week competition to reduce campus waste footprints. Collectively, colleges and universities 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 – equal to avoiding the annual emissions from 5,515 cars. Higher education institutions donated composted and recycled a total of more than 30.7 million pounds of waste.

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

For more information, visit