Universities accross the nation go head to head
in the fifth annual RecycleMania challenge
Oregon Daily Emerald
Sheldon Traver News Reporter March 10, 2005
Fierce competition between 33 universities nationwide intensified this week as Miami University encroached on the University of Oregon's lead in RecycleMania 2005, coming within one-tenth of a pound of recycled materials per student, University Housing Recycling Coordinator Robyn Hathcock said.
At the end of week five, 21,125 pounds of recyclables were recovered at the University residence and dining halls, leaving the University with a marginal lead. Oregon State University is currently in fourth place nationally.
"With the competition this close and this up for grabs, it makes it more vital for each resident to recycle," Hathcock said.
In addition to gaining bragging rights, the winning school will be presented with a trophy. The fifth week of the 10-week contest has just passed. As the University begins preparing for spring break, residence hall advisors and student recyclers are continuing to spread the word about RecycleMania and encourage students to recycle as they prepare to leave for home.
"My goal is to encourage as much recycling before spring break to boost our numbers," Hathcock said.
Sophomore Todd Mann said students are hearing RecycleMania's message. "With their advertising everywhere, I think about what I'm throwing away and think about whether it can be recycled," Mann said. He also said RHAs in Carson Hall were going door to door to remind students about the competition.
Freshman Elizabeth White said residents are talking about the effort. "I think it's been working," she said. "There are brochures on the tables and the word is getting out. I think it's pretty awesome."
RecycleMania is currently in its fifth year. Miami University started the competition in 2001 as a way to promote its own recycling program. There are two competition types. The Per-Capita Classic competition is based on the weight of material recycled per student living in residence halls and using the dining halls. The second is the Recycling Rate competition that compares the amount of recycled material to the amount of disposed trash. The University is participating in the Per-Capita Classic.
Weight is recorded based on 55-gallon drums. Each drum has a set weight based on the materials inside. A record of every drum recycled is recorded and submitted at the end of each week.
Hathcock said the University has made recycling a priority throughout the year, not just during RecycleMania. She said the amount of material recycled is up slightly because of this contest, but the University has a strong year-round program. She added that this is not only good for the University but for the planet.
A study by the University of Massachusetts Amherst showed the energy savings from recycling one aluminum can could run a television for three hours. Each ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water and prevents 60 pounds of air pollution from reaching the skies. One ton of glass made of 50 percent recycled material saves 250 pounds of mining waste, according to the study.
Hathcock said it is important to get the word out and make an effort to think about what is thrown away.
"It makes a difference if a resident is choosing to recycle when they might not before," Hathcock said.
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