15 February 2010

RecycleMania: Now at WC

The Recycling Program, located within the Center for Environment & Society, has been incredibly busy during these first few weeks of the spring semester in order to coordinate a wide variety of events and competitions promoting recycling and sustainability initiatives on campus. One such event that is currently underway is RecycleMania, a competition among over 600 colleges and universities to compare the efficiency and effectiveness of recycling programs by collecting results from participating colleges and universities in a variety of categories.

According to their website, RecycleMania is “a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities.” This competition, which was founded in 2001, occurs over an eight-week period and is currently in its second week. Sunday, January 17 marked the beginning of the two-week trial period, which precedes the official competition. During the two trial weeks, recycled materials at WC weighed in at 1.26 lbs. per capita and 1.57 lbs. per capita. Unfortunately, these numbers did not carry through to the first actual week of the competition, during which recycled materials weighed in at 0.49 lbs. per capita.

WC has been participating in this competition since 2007.

RecycleMania categories include Grand Champion, Per Capita Classic, Waste Minimization, Gorilla Prize, and Targeted Materials, including Paper, Corrugated Cardboard, Bottles and Cans, and Food Service Organics.

Additionally, the Recycling Program is hosting its own private competition among dorms to promote recycling. The competition, which started on February 1, is comparing recycling by weight per capita by dorm, and the dorms with the highest total pounds of collected recycling per capita will be announced at the end of the semester. Dorms will be penalized for their “grossness factor,” meaning that pounds will be subtracted from their total at the discretion of either the Recycling Assistants or the Recycling Coordinator based on quantity of un-recyclable products found in the recycling bins, and also for any items, such as food or plastic cups, that are particularly gross or annoying to find within the bins. The winning dorm will be recognized in the Elm and online, and results will be posted each week. Full details will be available at georgegoesgreen.com.

The Recycling Program has expanded this semester to include additional dorms. The only dorms not currently participating in the on-campus recycling program are Caroline House, Minta Martin, Reid Hall, and Queen Anne House. These dorms will receive new recycling bins, and therefore will be included in the competition, as soon as the snow clears and the recycling team can distribute bins among the halls.

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