Mount Union Competes in RecycleMania
March 7, 2011 - by Callie Livengood
Since early February, the University of Mount Union has been competing in RecycleMania, a nationwide recycling competition between colleges and universities. The eight-week competition will come to a close on Saturday, April 2.
According to its website, RecycleMania is a friendly recycling competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities. Mount Union has been participating since 2008, and this year it is competing in the competition division. Institutions report weekly the weight of its recyclables and trash (both in pounds). From there, the accumulated ratios are compared between other peer colleges and universities within a set list of institutions similar in size.
“Our main goals this year are to increase awareness of the RecycleMania competition and to educate others on the importance of recycling,” said Natalie Kee, sustainability and academic outreach coordinator at Mount Union. “In all reality, we (Mount Union) want to reduce the amount of waste generated on campus. Recycling is great, but if the amount of waste is increasing, then it’s not much help.”
Some of the Ohio colleges and universities Mount Union is competing against include Baldwin-Wallace College, Marietta College and Otterbein University.
According to Kee, Mount Union recycles about 4-5,000 pounds per week and puts out nearly 13-14,000 pounds of trash. This amount includes the trash and recyclables from the Nature Center, dining commons and residence halls, among other buildings on Mount Union’s campus.
Over the past few years, recycling has become more popular nationwide and Mount Union has been no exception. The Office of Residence Life has been drumming up participation by holding an intra-dorm competition between all of the residence halls on campus. Student organizations actively involved in this year’s competition include Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA), fraternities and sororities.
Kee hopes to see the amount of recycling increase and trash decrease during the course of the competition, and then steadily sustain those amounts throughout the year.
As Mount Union continues to move toward becoming a more sustainable campus, educating the campus community will be a top priority. In terms of recycling, identifying what should be placed in recycling bins versus trash receptacles is half the battle.
The following lists are materials that can and cannot be recycled on campus.
Items that can be recycled on campus:
Clear glass bottles and jars
Paper – newspapers, magazines, telephone books
Items that cannot be recycled on campus:
Containers that have been contaminated by food and liquid