By CHRISTINA LAMBERT
For the past three years UMW has been competing against hundreds of universities across the country in RecycleMania.
RecycleMania is a competition that allows college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities on campus since 2001.
Over a 10-week period, participants report recycling and trash data to the College and University Recycling Council, a group of six individuals who oversee the RecycleMania competition.
The recycling data is ranked according to which school has the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita and the highest recycling rate, according to the website, recyclemania.org.
UMW has consistently ranked in numerous categories and has moved up in the standings each year of participating, according to UMW’s Sustainability Coordinator senior Tori Wong.
Results from 2010 are not yet available on the RecycleMania website, but in 2009 UMW ranked in the top 300 of the “Per Capita Challenge” and the “Gorilla Prize.”
This year, extra effort is being put into the competition in order to increase participation throughout campus. At Club Carnival on Wednesday, Jan. 12, Wong and other members of the ecology club visited other booths to get all of the clubs at UMW to pose with their sign that read, “I want Mary Washington to win RecycleMania.”
They were even able to get a picture of President Rick Hurley with the sign.
“[Hurley’s] been really great with RecycleMania,” said Wong. “He’s always been supportive of us. This is the first time we got him on board.”
Although a national competition, Wong wants to make RecycleMania more of a big deal at UMW. One way they are doing this is to coordinate the light bulb exchange with RecycleMania.
“We are trying to move it to a more local level and get residence halls to compete,” she said.
Participating in RecycleMania is easy; all aluminum cans, plastic bottles and newspapers placed in designated recycling bins on campus will be recorded and reported back to RecycleMania.
In 2009 UMW ranked among other schools in Virginia in various RecylceMania challenges. The 2010 data is not yet available on recyclemania.org.