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The Blue & Gray Press | July 17, 2018

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Weather tears up Shred Event turnout

Despite the rain and multiple cancellations, the University of Mary Washington held its annual Shred Event at the Battleground Athletic Complex last Wednesday, March 19. The event is a part of RecyleMania, an eight-week competition that encourages universities across the U.S. to reduce waste through recycling.
The purpose of the Shred Event is to dispose of confidential documents free of charge. While the event is mainly targeted toward the university, it is also open to local businesses and area residents as a gesture to involve the entire Fredericksburg community in recycling efforts.
Although 15 departments including Stafford and Belmont, participated in the event. Wilson said she did not expect a huge turnout, particularly from the Fredericksburg community.
Due to the low turnout, the university’s shred event collected only 2,913 pounds of mixed paper. Compared to previous years, the low turn out may be attributed to the change of dates and the weather.
“First, we had scheduled the event on March 6. However, that day became a holiday. Then, we planned it for March 12, but it snowed and made it impossible to prepare. We finally agreed on March 19, rain or shine,” said Wilson, director of landscape and grounds.
However, Wilson expressed that the low turnout may have been a good sign.
“I do think that besides changing dates and all those sorts of things, I think we’re seeing people getting rid of the backloads, so there’s less material to shred, and maybe we’re a little more paperless,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, despite the fact that the amount of materials shredded may seem low, “since UMW is doing so well already in RecyleMania as a whole, the Shred Event will not be a major factor in our ranking.”
“I believe we do not necessarily recycle more during Recyclemania, I think UMW does a good job recycling year around,” said Wilson
Although the fact that UMW worked with a new company this year (Richmond-based EnTrust Records) may lead some to believe that the new company might have played a role in the low results, but Wilson assured that the company was just as professional and punctual as last year’s company, Iron Mountain.
Wilson is hopeful that next year’s shred event will be better.
“If we have decent weather and a consistent time and place, we should have no problem. All of the problems that we ran into were uncontrollable on our part, so if these factors are on our side, we should be able to do better next year.”
The last week of RecyleMania begins next week, and the event ends on Sunday, March 30.