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UWRF Enters National RecycleMania Contest

By Kendra Knutson

MARCH 12, 2007--"Recycle, recycle, recycle rap. There's nothing to it if you just know how. So tell your mama and your daddy and your sister too. R-r-r-recyclin' is the thing to do!"

Many elementary schoolers have learned the "Recycle Rap," and member of the Earth Consciousness Organization (ECO) at University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) have taken it to heart.

The ECO club has entered the national RecycleMania competition for the first year ever, aimed at encouraging campus-wide involvement and awareness in the reduce, reuse and recycle movement.

RecycleMania, supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise Program and the National Recycling Coalition, is a 10-week competition that includes two categories, Per Capita Classic and Waste Minimization, open to any U.S. college or university. Campuses may enter in either or both categories, and the contest, which began Jan. 28, will conclude April 7.

UWRF is entered in the Per Capita Classic hoping to contend with larger schools. In this category schools compete to see who can collect the largest amount of recyclables per person. Results are calculated by taking the total weight of recyclables and dividing it by the campus population.  

According to a 2006 UWRF recycling survey, the total quantity of commingled recyclable materials including aluminum containers, steel containers, glass containers, and plastic containers was 40.8 tons. The mixed recyclables including magazines, newsprint, office paper and corrugated items totaled 144.62 tons. The main goal is to increase these numbers each year.  

RecyleMania accepts paper items such as boxboard, catalogs, hard and softbound books, junk mail, magazines, newspaper, office paper, and phone books. Aluminum cans, glass, and steel cans are also accepted, as well as baled and unbaled cardboard boxes.   

UWRF's RecycleMania coordinator Manville Kenney, of the University's facilities management department, reports the recycling measurements on a weekly basis in pounds recycled per student living on campus.

Student co-chairs for the RecycleMania project are Katherine Kasnia, a sophomore conservation major, Brookfield, Wis., and Sarah Knorr, a sophomore biology major from Shiocton, Wis. Sophomore Rebecca Alexander, a biology major from Firth, Neb., has played a role in helping with the organization of the event.

According to Kasnia, the ECO club entered the competition mainly to promote recycling.

"I've seen people throw plastic bottles in the garbage when there is a recycling bin next to it," said Kasnia.   Her hopes are that when the competition is over, it will have opened people's eyes to the world of recycling so that they will ultimately sort their recyclables and drop their cans or bottles in one bin and paper in the other.  

Four other Wisconsin campuses are participating in RecycleMania including UW-Stout, UW-Eau Claire, UW Center-Marinette, and the College of Menominee Nation.  

Among the Wisconsin schools, UWRF has collected 3.63 lbs recyclables/person and currently ranks second behind UW-Stout with 5.07 lbs recyclables/person after three weeks.  

"We hope to at least beat Stout," said Kasnia, as the neighboring UW campus is a UWRF in sports as well as other functions.  

Overall, UWRF ranks 95 th out of 165 schools participating in the Per Capita Classic. Trophies and awards as well as participant certificates will be presented after the program is completed.  

RecycleMania was created in February 2001 when Ed Newman, of Ohio State University, and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler, of Miami University, decided something needed to be done to increase recycling in both the residence and dining halls on their campuses. These two campuses competed for 10-weeks to see which could collect the most recyclables.

The following two years the number of participating schools doubled. By 2004, RecycleMania teamed with the U.S. Environmental Protection to expand the competition.This initiative won the National Recycling Coalition's Outstanding Recycling Innovation Award.

By 2006 there were 93 schools participating. The 2007 RecycleMania competition has 202 schools entered. For more information go to RecycleMania's Web site at .



Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:03 Central Daylight Time


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