Students will have extra motivation to recycle from Feb. 2 to Mar. 29. RecycleMania 2014 is coming to campus, and will provide incentive by the form of competition against other college campuses to go green. RecycleMania, a non-profit organization, is headed by a Board of Directors comprised of university sustainability managers from across the country. The organization works alongside Keep America Beautiful and WasteWise to promote clean living and recycling. Loras has participated in the competition in past years as well.
Loras will be competing against more than 500 colleges that are also taking part in the RecycleMania competition. To win the RecycleMania tournament, students have to reduce, reuse and recycle more than the other participating schools.
“The RecycleMania campaign has proven to make a direct impact on participating college campuses. Over half of the campuses surveyed in any given year report a notable increase in recycling after participating in RecycleMania,” according to the program’s website.
Loras has participated in the competition in the past, and typically finishes in the middle of the pack.
“Visually we want to do better in terms of numbers than we have done in the past, in comparison to other schools. We mainly want to beat ourselves,” said senior Ellen Fuller, one of the student workers for the Solid Waste Education Office at Loras.
Four campus organizations are teaming up with the RecycleMania campaign to institute the green changes at Loras: Solid Waste Education Office, Loras Environment Action Forum (L.E.A.F.), Loras Sustainability Committee, and Peace and Justice. These groups will help to encourage students to recycle materials such as paper products, magazines, catalogs, newspapers, junk mail, envelopes, text books, paper bags, cereal boxes, cardboard, metal cans, jar lids, etc. All of the containers that are placed in recycling should be rinsed clean before placing in the container. However, materials such as glass should not be recycled.
Over the eight weeks that the competition will occur, participating schools will record the amounts that they recycle and how much trash is collected each week. RecycleMania will rank them in multiple categories, such as best recycling rate in regards to the percentage of total waste, which school recycles the most per capita, and which school ends up with the least amount of combined trash and recycling. Participants will be able to track their rankings on RecycleMania’s website. The winning school from each category will be presented an award made from recyclable material.
One of the biggest components of the competition at Loras is the residence halls. There will be a mini competition between the halls to see which one can recycle the most, out of the total percentage of discarded material. The hall that ends up recycling the most will be awarded an ice cream social. Students also can partake in the competition by recycling in the academic buildings.
In addition, tonight at the womens’ basketball game, volunteers will be standing by recycle bins in the gym, encouraging recycling. At the end of the night they will collect the recycling from the bins, and also gather any recyclable items that are left in the bleachers. Volunteers did this at the last home basketball game against Simpson, and two-thirds of the recyclable items that they collected had not been thrown away in bins, but rather left in the bleachers or thrown away in the trash bins.
Students have another chance to help the sustainability cause on Mar. 13, when the residence halls will be providing door decorations to be decorated by students to promote recycling.
If students are interested in finding out more about how they can help Loras’ efforts in RecycleMania or in the competition itself, they can visit the organization’s website at www.recyclemaniacs.org or contact the Solid Waste Education Office.