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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Recycle Mania kicks off

    Recycle Mania kicks off

    Members of Residence Life were out the on the UA Mall yesterday to kick off the 2008 Recycle Mania competition and educate students on recycling and sustainability issues.

    Residence Life is participating in Recycle Mania, a 10-week nationwide competition among universities aimed at recycling the most, from Jan. 27 to April 5.

    “”Residence Life will be collecting all the recyclable materials from each of the residence halls every week and tallying how many pounds of material we recycle,”” said Liz Zavodsky, the organization’s coordinator of sustainability education.

    Residence Life has participated in Recycle Mania since 2002 and this year is taking its efforts one step further by educating students on sustainability.

    Students on the Mall were encouraged to sign their “”3 R”” pledge – reduce, reuse and recycle – and asked to commit to recycling and energy conservation in their daily lives.

    The pledges were entered in a drawing to win prizes, and Residence Life plans on making a paper chain out of the signed pledges to be displayed in dormitories.

    Students also took an “”eco-footprint quiz”” to see how environment-savvy they are in their daily lives.

    Nicolas Ong, an undeclared freshman, found out that he will consume an estimated seven acres of natural resources in his lifetime, significantly less then the average of 24 acres per person.

    Ong said he has always been environmentally conscious. He is an “”eco-rep”” for Villa del Puente Residence Hall and is trying to advertise the Recycle Mania program in his hall, encouraging others to recycle everything possible.

    The UA is not as forward-thinking as it could be, he said. He was used to composting some materials and recycling neon-colored paper, before he came to college; both processes were not possible at the UA.

    The underlying message of the competition is to think before throwing something away and recycle everything possible, Zavodsky said.

    In 2007, the UA recycled 36,000 pounds of material, placing 104th of 201 schools nationally. This year, 400 schools will participate.

    In light of last year’s results, Zavodsky’s position was created to deal with recycling and sustainability issues for Residence Life.

    “”It’s been made a priority for our department,”” she said, adding that she hopes the university doubles its total material recycled.

    The only recycle bins that can be counted in the competition are those located in and around residence halls.

    Only Residence Life is participating in the competition, which is something Zavodsky said she hopes changes in the future.

    “”I think there are elements of the university that are very green, but as a campus, one of our weakest parts is recycling,”” she said.

    Each room in the residence halls has a recycle bin inside, and some halls have bigger, separate bins, she said.

    William Wycoff, Residence Life’s student coordinator of recycling and sustainability and a business junior, said he has seen the recycling program grow significantly over the last two years.

    “”We’re just out here fighting the good fight,”” he said.

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