Students reduce and reuse during Recyclemania

Office of Sustainability hosted an E-Waste Drive where students donated old computers and electronics.

Jene ThomasGeneral Assignment Reporter 

As of Feb. 18, the Southern Connecticut State University campus has gathered 20,740 pounds of recycling, according the RecycleMania Facebook page.

“It’s an easy thing that anyone can do for the environment,” said Murphy Murad, sophomore psychology student.

This is the sixth year that the school has participated in The RecycleMania Tournament. The event is an eight-week period, lasting from Feb. 1 to March 28, where schools participate in a nationwide competition in seeing who can get the most recyclable items per capita, the least amount of trash per capita or the highest recycling rate.

According to the RecycleMania website, the goal is “to motivate students and staff to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste generation.”

Each week, the schools will tally their number of recyclables and compare them with the other participating schools where they can measure up. RecycleMania is measured by eight different categories: food service organics, bottles & cans, cardboard, paper, waste minimization, gorilla, per capita and a grand champion.

Southern not only participates in the national competition, but has created a campus wide competition as well. Each of the residence halls provides students with a designated area to dispose their recyclables. They tally up how much each student contributes. Every five items is worth one point per student or group.

The hall that gathers the most recyclables wins a celebration in their dorm. As of March 25, Brownell led followed by Wilkinson, North Campus Townhouses and North Campus Mid Rise, according to Residence Life.

Drew McWeeney, freshman early education major and avid recycler, said students should recycle without the promise of incentives.

“Students should want to recycle because they care about health,” he said. “It is a shame that incentives have to be e waste-2an option to get people to actually do something they are supposed to do.”

As a part of RecycleMania, the Office of Sustainability hosted its thirdannual E-Waste Drive from March 9-12 at the facilities operations warehouse. Staff members were on site to assist unloading heavy equipment. The Southern Community was offered the chance to drop off old electronics like computers, without the hard drive, phones and televisions.

Cell phones may also be dropped off at the Women’s Center located in the basement of Schwartz Hall at any time.

Suzanne Humanski, coordinator in the Office of Sustainability, said using less does more than just recycling.

“Using less is most important,” she said. “Everyone doing that is paramount to helping the environment.”

As a part of reduction, Southern has also participated in a competition to minimize energy, lasting from Feb. 20 to March 18.

Farnham Hall took first place with an 18.7 percent reduction rate, followed by North Campus at 5.4 percent. A total of 7268-kilowatt hours, 5480 pounds of carbon dioxide and $1090 were saved.

The RecycleMania competition only happens during the spring, but the Southern campus has been dedicated to recycling and minimization since 2011, when they implemented single stream recycling bins. All across campus are bright blue bins that say “single-stream” where students and faculty are invited to recycle. Bottles and cans go down one hole while paper goes down a separate hole.

In each of the categories, Southern has placed 101 out of 149 in waste minimization and 163 out of 335 in gorilla, as of March 27, according to the national RecycleMania website. In the grand champion, the school placed 153 out of 333 per capita and as a grand champion, 200 out of 226 in comparison the other universities with a recycling rate of 14,465,

“I hope students continue recycling, even after RecycleMania,” Humanski said.

Photo Credit: Derek Torrellas

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