February 1, 2010
After one week of competition, RecycleMania is in full swing with over 600 universities and colleges across the U.S., Canada, and even Qatar competing. The 10-week competition challenges schools to reduce waste and boost recycling rates while raising awareness about consumption and the environment.
Volunteers at the trash audit found plenty of cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles in the waste stream that could have easily been recycled.
After the first week of competition, CSU is in sixth place with a cumulative recycling rate of 61.18 percent.
In the on-campus competition, the Newsom/Academic Village team has taken an early lead in the residence hall competition with 3.58 pounds of recyclables collected per student in week one. In the apartment competition, the International House/Lory team is the early leader with a whopping 7.23 pounds of recyclables per resident.
The trash audit Jan. 27 revealed that 37 percent of what is thrown away on campus could have been recycled.
Although lower than last year’s rate of 40 percent, this year’s trash audit revealed that 37 percent of trash collected from the residence halls could have been recycled.
Volunteers at the trash audit found plenty of cardboard, paper, and plastic bottles in the waste stream that could have easily been recycled. The trash audit also revealed that students tend to throw away a lot of food waste and reusable items, such as uneaten to-go meals, apples, school supplies, and clothes.
“Our trash doesn’t just ‘go away,’ it has an impact and we need to reduce our waste in order to make a difference,” said Alysse Brice, student intern for the Green Warrior Campaign at Colorado State.
This year, Colorado State University aims to stay in the top 10 finishers, despite the high number of colleges and universities that have entered the competition.
According to RecyleMania officials, the best way to raise recycling rates is to combine waste reduction with recycling. In order to stay in the top 10, students, staff, and faculty at CSU must reduce their personal waste while ensuring their recyclables make it into the blue bins on campus.
Each school’s recycling rate is calculated as a ratio of recycled items to total trash (food waste, recyclables, and other trash). If CSU’s trash consists of less unrecyclable waste, such as Styrofoam, food, and plastic packaging, our recycling rates will soar!
To start, students, faculty, and staff can focus on placing all recyclables in the blue bins- not in the trash. For a list of acceptable items, please see CSU’s Recycling Guide. Also, specialty and toxic items, such as batteries, ink cartridges, and electronics need to be collected separately. Check your department building for receptacles.
The second focus is on food waste: be sure to take only what you need from the dining centers and the grocery store.
Finally, get into the habit of reusing. Grocery bags, binders, notebook paper, clothing, and plastic ware all deserve a second chance. Remember that if you don’t have a use for it anymore, someone else most likely does! Share school supplies with friends and donate clothing to local thrift stores.
RecycleMania is now a part of the Green Warrior Campaign at Colorado State. Students can visit the Green Warrior website to report actions, like recycling and reducing energy consumption, for prizes!
Contact: Kyle Bacon
Phone: (720) 810-7523