Recyclemania competition promotes sustainability

Alex Palmieri – News Writer

Heather Stearns said Recyclemania is made for students to understand the significance of recycling and to continue recycling as best as they can.

“We’ve been doing this since 2008,” said Stearns, recycling coordinator. “It’s been a great time.”

Stearns said the main goal of Recyclemania is waste reduction. This is an eight week friendly competition between colleges and universities to see who can recycle the most. Stearns said she is trying to get more out of the waste bin and into the recycling bin. She added roughly 75 percent of what people put in the trash could have probably been recycled.

“People don’t realize how much of this is really recyclable,” said Stearns. “But it is all about waste reduction and trying to pull back on that piece.”

With competition over the eight weeks, Stearns said she provides data over the time period. She said Southern is at a little disadvantage because it is mainly a commuter school and students are constantly on the go. Because of this, Stearns said it might impact their commitment to activities on Southern’s campus compared to others.

“Students are busy they have lives outside of here,” said Stearns. “It is not about winning Recyclemania, it is the awareness piece. How can we get more people to think about what they’re putting into the trash.”

Stearns said she has the nine residents halls compete against each other to see who can recycle the most. The total number of pounds of recycling is divided by the number of students in the building. Stearns said this makes it fair for everyone to participate so it will be equal.

“Right now,” said Stearns, “North Campus, even though they’re the largest, are leading. They are up around 12lbs per person over the last six weeks.”

Julie Dellavecchia, student intern from the public health department, said she wants to raise awareness on recycling to all students. Dellavecchia wants to promote more sustainability by using less water bottles but more grocery bags, for example.

“We just want to get everyone aware of the issue that is going on,” said Dellavecchia.

Dellavecchia said there are two weeks left of the competition that is going on between the nine resident halls. All the recycling gets put into the designated bins and the total is weighed every week by a company.

“We get all the results,” said Dellavecchia. “We post it in all the resident halls and it is just a friendly competition. There’s prizes and all that kind of stuff.”

Ricky Bolzano, junior marketing major, said Recylemania can allow students to recycle more when the competition is all set and done. He said it is a good idea by the university to get students on the right track for recycling not only at school, but at their houses as well.

“I think students realize the importance,” said Balzano. “It’s a great idea.”

Stearns said the entire campus is at 26.46 tons of recyclable material.

“Overall there has been 52,920lbs of recycling on campus after the six week mark,” said Stearns. “And we still have two weeks left.”

Photo Credit: Alex Palmieri

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