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Westminster Collects 20,126 Items of Clothing

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Posted on Wednesday, October 14, 2015

According to, 11.1 million tons of recyclable fabric and textiles are added to landfills each year. In an effort to decrease that alarming statistic, a group of Westminster College students joined together and entered in to the Close the Loop Cup Challenge. This four-week national competition sponsored by H&M Clothing Store aimed to collect items of unused clothing items which are later recycled and repurposed.

In the nation-wide competition, Westminster College’s placed third, collecting 20,126 items of clothing. Westminster trailed behind University of Texas at El Paso, who placed first for collecting 23,180 items and Vanderbilt University, who placed second for collecting 21,118 items. Westminster was given the spirit award, being recognizably the most visible on social media and doing "an impressive job getting the entire campus involved."

"We’re a small college competing against giants,” said Liz Buechele, student government association service chair. “The number one school is 23 times our size, and the number two school, 12 times our size. We rallied the entire campus around a cause; we were part of something bigger than ourselves; we had the coolest human assembly line I've ever seen; and most importantly, we worked together...and because of that, we made a huge impact."

Westminster’s Close the Loop Cup committee consisted of the following committee members:

  • Abigail Miles, a senior communication studies and music as a second major major, is a daughter of Gary and Margaret Miles and a graduate of Ephrata High School.
  • Blake Tyger, a senior business administration major, is a son of Jill Cummiskey and Richard Tyger, Lakewood, NY, and a graduate of Bradford Area High School.
  • Elizabeth Buechele, a senior communication studies major, is a daughter of Richard and Lisa Buechele and a graduate of Seneca Valley High School.
  • Elizabeth Venanzi, a senior English major, is a daughter of Randy Venanzi and a graduate of Ringgold High School.
  • Christian Na, a sophomore exploratory major, is a son of Kang-Yup and Amy Na and a graduate of Neshannock High School.

The entire Westminster campus community thanks everyone who participated in the Close the Loop Cup Challenge. For more information about the competition, contact Gina Vance, associate dean of student affairs, at