Reinhardt Eagles are putting their best foot forward for RecycleMania geared at encouraging more students, staff and faculty to recycle instead of just dumping.
“RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities,” said RU Green Program Coordinator Zach White. “Over an eight-week period each spring, colleges across the United States and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are, in turn, ranked in various categories based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling.”
Reinhardt began participating in the RecycleMania program three years ago when it started single-stream recycling.
“We thought RecyleMania would be a great way to grow the recycling program on campus,” White said. “This year will be the third year Reinhardt University has competed in the competition. In 2014, Reinhardt University recycled 8,560 pounds and last year recycled 27,087 pounds during the competition for an average of 8.8 pounds per person.”
RU Green’s goal for the 2016 competition is to recycle 20,000 pounds. At the halfway mark, the university was at 7,240 pounds. The competition ends April 2.
White said the university has recycled 28,860 pounds in the single-stream recycling center since the school year began in August.
While the university is competing in the benchmark division, which means no actual prizes, White hopes RecycleMania will serve as an internal catalyst to get more students, faculty and staff to recycle.
“We have been in the competition division with prizes the last two years, but this year we are just competing in the Benchmark Division which just measures our recycling efforts and does not rank us,” White said. “We found since we are so small it was hard to compete with so many big schools. We look at it as a competition internally to improve our recycling efforts and to grow the single-stream recycling program across campus.”
Recyclables accepted include aluminum and steel cans, cardboard, paperboard, glass jars, bottles of all colors, junk mail, magazines, newspaper and plastics Nos. 1 through 7.
Every week, RU Green Program assistants and Reinhardt students, Brent Blackwell, Shelby Bennett and Mary Echols empty more than 70 single-stream recycling bins on campus, from the gym to the Falany Performing Arts Center and the recycling center located in the parking lot between Roberts and Gordy Residence Halls.
RU Green asks that cardboard be broken down and that bottles and jars be rinsed out before being disposed of in the recycling containers. Any shredded or hole-punched paper should be put in a bag.
The recycling center does not accept Styrofoam, plastic garbage, grocery and Ziploc bags, shrink wrap, bubble wrap, dishes, glasses, mirrors, aerosol cans, light bulbs, batteries, paint cans and household or personal garbage.
For more information on the RecycleMania program, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org. For more information on RU Green, visit http://www.reinhardt.edu/Current-Students/Student_Activities/Get-Informed/RU-Green.