Help Sustain Our Future by Educating CNM Community on Recycling

September 19, 2019

Global markets are constantly changing. Did you know that in 2017 China changed how our world recycles by banning imports on mixed paper and several types of plastics, as well as drastically reducing the amount of contamination allowed for remaining recyclable imports? This is an issue for our nation because the U.S. has a contamination rate of nearly 30%, thereby making our materials unacceptable on the global market. At CNM, contamination rates are lower, but a recent survey shows that 29% of incoming CNM students think that materials saturated with food and liquid should go into the recycling bins. Read more.

The same survey shows that 27% of incoming CNM students do not think aluminum is recyclable. These perceptions may further endanger our capacity to participate in local, national, and global recycling markets. But we can help by doing what we do best, by educating our community! Interested? Volunteer in CNM’s spring 2020 RecycleMania event, or design curriculum around a CNM specific case-study (CNM won the national RecycleMania case-study award in 2018 and received an honorable mention in 2019).

Participating is not only an excellent way to help educate our communities, but also a great way to learn more about the state of recycling and to obtain college service. Additionally, RecycleMania serves as an opportunity to add sustainability-related assignments to your curriculum, regardless of discipline. The organizers have many ideas for you to choose from. For more info, email Molly Blumhoefer at or Luke Phillips at