February 13, 2006
Emory vies for recycling crown
BY robyn mohr
Baseball season, hunting season and the holiday season are common touchstones, but for the next 10 weeks at Emory, it will be recycling season.
The University, along with 93 other colleges and schools
throughout the United States, is participating in RecycleMania, an
aimed at boosting awareness of the need to recycle while also encouraging
The contest began Jan. 30. Emory, the only school in
Georgia to participate, has joined campuses in 35 other states, including
California, Colorado, Ohio and New
York, in a competition to see who can collect the most recyclable
materials while curbing the level of trash.
The rankings from the current competition will be posted
on the RecycleMania Website starting Feb. 10. The online results
will be updated weekly
According to the Feb. 8 posting, Emory ranked 39th out of 80 schools in it's class with 1.9 pounds per person.
Recyclable goods on the most-wanted list include: paper,
catalogs, phone books, aluminum cans and water bottles. Participants
to log the number of pounds they collect every week. At the competition’s
end, the school that collects the largest amount of recyclable items
will win “"The Dude,"” a much-sought-after
trophy shaped like a bowling ball.
"Emory Recycles" hopes to increase campus resident
recycling and promote the importance of not only recycling but waste
campus-wide by participating in Recyclemania,” said Recycling
Coordinator Claire Wall. “"Most everyone has a competitive
side, and by participating in this friendly competition between universities,
we hope to spur friendly recycling competitions on campus."
The origins of the contest date back to 2001 when two
students in Ohio began the rivalry.
Ed Newman, then a student at Ohio University, and Stacy
Edmonds Wheeler, who was attending Miami University (of Ohio), started
the residence and dining halls on their campuses were producing too much waste.
The two schools went head-to-head in a recycling competition.
Since then, RecycleMania has branched out into two
separate competitions: Waste Management and the Per Capita Classic.
Those schools that
participate in both
are in the running to become the Grand Champion of RecycleMania. The title
is given to the school that, based on its combined results, collects the
and reduces the most waste on campus.
Emory is a contestant in the Per Capita Classic. In
that category, schools can choose to collect recyclables campuswide,
or they can
focus on recycling
single residence hall or dining area. Although collecting recyclables from
one residence hall may hardly seem worth it, residence and dining halls are
producers of waste on campus, according to RecycleMania statistics, generating
30–70 percent of on-campus trash.
Organizers at Emory decided to focus on recycling in
residence halls, and all newly admitted students were given blue
bins at orientation.
A similar strategy
seems to be the key behind Miami's success. Placing recycling bins in residence
halls is how Miami of Ohio consistently comes out on top.
In 2005, Miami was in danger of losing the “"Recycle
Dude"” for the
Per Capita Competition. University students had become very fond of the trophy
and named him the unofficial mascot for their school's recycling programs.
They pumped up publicity and brought the bowling ball to a basketball game
RecycleMania. Pretty soon, several students on campus recognized the Recycling
Dude and the competition he represented.
In the 2005 competition, there were 47 participating
schools, a big leap from the 17 schools that participated the year
spike is due partly to
RecycleMania's partnership with the WasteWise Program of the U.S. Environmental
WasteWise fostered competition among schools and made
technical assistance, electronic reporting and an interactive Website
available to all
All participating universities are required to publicize
the winners of the contest in some form of campus media.
For more information, visit the RecycleMania Website
at www.recyclemania.org or call
the WasteWise helpline at 1-800-372-9473. Also, look for Emory's
results on Emory Report's Website, www.emory.edu/EMORY_REPORT.