Already one of the top-ranked medical schools in the country, Baylor College of Medicine now has another ranking to brag about – No. 1 in Texas in recycling.

BCM participated in the 13th annual RecycleMania contest, an eight-week competition in which colleges and universities are ranked according to how much recycling, trash and food waste they collect. The recycling contest was held from Feb. 3 to March 30, and pitted more than 523 institutions against one another. Not only did BCM finish first in Texas but ranked No. 4 nationwide.

BCM recycled more than 69 tons of paper, plastic and aluminum during the competition, preventing the release of 193 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere.

"We are thrilled with the results of the contest. It is just another indicator that the BCM community is dedicated to our recycling and sustainability initiatives," said Gabi De la Rosa, coordinator of BCM’s recycling program, called the BCM Resource Stewardship and Sustainability Program.

BCM is committed to recycling not just during the two-month competition but all year long. Some highlights of BCM’s recycling efforts in 2012 include:

Recycling more than 709,000 pounds of paper/cardboard – enough to save 7,234 trees
Recycling 73 tons of metal – enough to make 73 full sized cars
Recycling 6 tons of plastic – or enough to save 23 barrels of crude oil
Conserving more than 33 million gallons of water – enough to fill 53 Olympic-sized swimming pools

In addition, BCM’s recycling program received the Mayor’s Proud Partner Award sponsored by the City of Houston and Keep Houston Beautiful and received grants that supported the purchase of 40 large recycling bins that were placed in common areas and other locations throughout campus as well as the purchase of more than 1,500 desk-sized recycling bins.

"BCM’s recycling program is almost entirely volunteer-driven, highlighting the importance the BCM community places on recycling and the environment," De la Rosa said.

Learn more about the BCM recycling program.