Civil War goes green during RecycleMania

Inside Oregon
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

RecycleMania, which got its start in 2001 as a competition for two rival Ohio schools, has taken on a Civil War theme for the second straight year with a friendly sustainability contest between the University of Oregon and Oregon State University.

The UO-OSU match up began Jan. 23 and will run through April 2, while the official nationwide event – which included more than 600 schools last year – will begin Feb. 6 and end April 2. This will be the UO's eighth year of participation in RecycleMania.

The competition is open to all students, faculty and staff. The Civil War winner will be the university that gathers the most recyclable material by weight and per capita by the end of the contest.

“Unfortunately, items that are easily recyclable on campus are tossed into the trash every day,” said Robyn Hathcock, UO campus recycling coordinator. “With over 1500 recycling sites on campus, there are plenty of opportunities to make a better choice by recycling.

“When I think about all of the sites – from recycling sites all around the residence halls and along campus walkways to inside the EMU and campus departments – all students, faculty and staff can be a part of the UO's showing in RecycleMania, show their Duck pride and ensure a victory over OSU.”

Goals of the competition – aside from beating the Beavers – include increasing recycling participation across campus, heightening awareness of UO waste management and recycling programs, and decreasing the amount of waste generated at the university.

The UO hasn't been in the upper echelon of recyclers in the nationwide RecycleMania competition, but ran neck-and-neck with OSU in last year's initial Civil War competition.

OSU won with 17.1 pounds per person, while the UO averaged 14.9 pounds per person. Overall, OSU took in 374,864 pounds of recycled material, while the UO collected 346,186 pounds of recycled material a year ago. That was a difference of just 28,678 pounds, or 2.2 pound per person.

The Beavers took home the civil war prize: a trophy designed by a UO student last year from recycled materials. It will be passed each year to the winning school.

New to this year's UO-OSU competition is the inclusion of compostables in the weekly per-person average. Food waste, compostable cups and paper products can be composted at the EMU, campus cafes, Hamilton Grab'N'Go and LLC Dux Bistro.

The easiest way for UO students and employees to participate in RecycleMania is to make sure the recyclables or compostable items they generate on campus are put into corresponding campus recycling or compost bins.

Nationally, the UO and OSU both participate in what is called the Per Capita Classic, in which each school reports the weekly per-person average of recyclables collected. Materials includes paper, cardboard and glass/metal/plastic containers.

During the early RecycleMania years, just the UO residence halls competed in the Per Capita Classic. As the competition evolved, the UO began competing and reporting numbers from recyclables collected from the entire campus.

RecycleMania score updates and information on related events can be found on UO Campus Recycling's website and lobbies of the Carson, Barnhart, Hamilton and LLC complexes.


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