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EPA recognizes CMU as University Partner of the Year for sustainability efforts

| Author: Logan Pellegrom

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Central Michigan University with two honors as a part of its Sustainable Materials Management Program: the 2020 College and University Partner of the Year Award and the 2021 WasteWise National Narrative Sustainability Public Education Award.

CMU’s work to earn these honors included successfully diverting more than 1,447 tons of waste from landfills in 2019. This involved recycling, selling and composting materials, food waste and bulk items from CMU’s campus that would otherwise wind up in landfills, contributing to climate change and other environmental impacts.

In addition, the national narrative award recognized the university’s establishment of Central Sustainability, created in 2020 and led by students Teresa Homsi and Eric Urbaniak. The initiative supports interdisciplinary efforts to create greater sustainability and pursue projects, both on and off campus, that are environmentally and socially conscious.

Jay Kahn, director of facilities operations at CMU, said the university has partnered with the EPA for more than a decade. Winning both education categories demonstrates the overall impact made by the university, he said.

“These awards not only recognize our efforts over the past two-to-three years, but all of our sustainability work over the past decade-plus,” said Kahn. “This shows that we have been long-time players in sustainability.”