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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Trashing the competition: Recycle Mania craze kicks off

    Aluminum cans clutter the UA Mall Friday as part of the UAs Recycle Mania program. Students in residence halls compete against each other in a campus contest to decrease the amount of recyclables that end up in the trash.
    Aluminum cans clutter the UA Mall Friday as part of the UA’s Recycle Mania program. Students in residence halls compete against each other in a campus contest to decrease the amount of recyclables that end up in the trash.

    A giant bin of cans, an assortment of freebies and an enthusiastic bunch of recyclers set up Friday on the UA Mall to kick off the third Annual Recycle Mania competition.

    Organizers gave away pins, pens and prizes as they explained the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.

    “”What we’re trying to do is promote Recycle Mania,”” said Lisa Barrett, a biochemistry junior. “”Recycling helps keep things cleaner and preserve our resources.””

    The 10-week nationwide recycling competition brings on-campus residence halls into a head-to-head competition. The winners take $1,000 and the right to say they “”trashed”” the competition.

    The main goal of Recycle Mania is to help the environment by lowering the overall amount of recyclable items trashed on campus. Commonly trashed items include aluminum cans, computer paper and plastic bottles.

    “”Recycling is important because it’s a great educational tool,”” said Debbie Hanson, a recycling project and environmental coordinator. “”As our students come here, they can learn the importance of recycling so when they go out into the world they can practice the habits they’ve already picked up.””

    Recycle Mania’s message is simple: Recycling is easy, important and good for the environment.

    “”The most we can get out of our resources the better,”” said Cody O’Neill, an economics junior. “”Recycling helps the environment and you can get a lot of stuff out of reusing.””

    The results from a waste audit performed on campus in January showed that nearly 50 percent of all trash on campus was actually recyclable.

    “”I’d say I don’t recycle on a regular basis,”” said Aaron Huttie, a creative writing senior.

    Not recycling on campus is a trend that Recycle Mania organizers hope to reverse.

    “”If we could get the number to 30 or 20 percent, we would be much better,”” said Jessica Schluederberg, the Residence Life recycling coordinator. “”Ultimately we would want no recyclables in the trash, but that’s nearly impossible.””

    The UA will be competing with other universities to see which can collect the largest amount of acceptable recyclables per person and reduce the most waste.

    This year, the UA is trying to beat rival ASU, which recycled its way to victory in 2005 with 17.11 pounds per student.

    Villa del Puente Residence Hall, 575 N. Highland Ave., won last year’s on-campus recycling competition by recycling 52.48 pounds of recyclables. ASU was ranked No. 29 last year, with the UA following closely behind at 30th place. Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, won the nationwide competition last year.

    Recycle Mania will run until April 9, when the new winners will be announced.

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