Annual RecycleMania competition begins this week
Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013 00:01
This week marked the official kickoff for RecycleMania, an annual competition between universities nation-wide to see which school can recycle the most. To spearhead the event and bring awareness to the Oregon State University community, student volunteers collected recyclable items to create an eye-catching display in the Memorial Union Quad this week.
Displays currently featured include a jellyfish sculpture made from scrap film plastic, a plastic bottle igloo and a display showing the total amount of trash OSU produces every half hour. Each display holds information on recycling and waste reduction, and a calendar of upcoming RecycleMania events.
The RecycleMania campaign is described as a “friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities,” according to the group’s official webpage.
The competition takes place over a 10-week period in which colleges across the United States and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week to receive rankings in various categories. Last year, OSU ranked fifth overall in the electronics category.
During this same time, OSU competes in an annual Civil War recycling competition against the University of Oregon — OSU has won each year since its start in 2010.
There are multiple ways students can get involved with campus-wide RecycleMania competition efforts, and the first is simply to throw away less and recycle more.
“Use the RecycleMania competition as a time to revisit your own habits and do what you can to improve, so you can help OSU compete while creating new habits to continue year-round,” said Campus Recycling Outreach Coordinator Andrea Norris. “What makes RecycleMania so great is that it helps educate and encourage individuals to take action, it helps OSU compete nationally, and it helps the environment. Our events are educational, fun and useful.”
Student Outreach Assistant Lindsey Almarode is a senior in environmental science, and has been involved with OSU’s sustainability program for all four of her years here. This is her second year with the RecycleMania competition, and her first year working for Campus Recycling.
“In my opinion, the most important thing students can glean from RecycleMania as a whole is the importance of reducing the amount of waste they produce,” Almarode said. “I hope that students will change their habits of consumption to minimize waste in their lives and encourage others to do the same.”
For students and community members who wish to recycle throughout the year, there are numerous locations in the Corvallis area where this can be done. The First Alternative Co-op, which is located on SW Third St. in south town, accepts hard-to-recycle items, such as film plastics, hard plastics, corks, batteries, ice cream containers and Styrofoam. In addition, they have recycling bins outside for items that are recyclable at curbside.
Another great place to take recycling year-round is the Republic Services Recycling Depot, located on Northeast Walnut Boulevard. They accept many things that cannot be easily recycled on campus, such as electronics, ink cartridges, compact fluorescent bulbs, motor oil and cooking oil.
On campus, batteries can be recycled at any time at the Valley Library or any of the three dining centers.
The first campus-wide RecycleMania activity will be the January Repair Fair, a monthly effort to encourage students and community members to fix and reuse their broken belongings, instead of buying new ones. The January Repair Fair will take place on Monday, Jan. 28 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Recycling Warehouse, located at 644 SW 13th St.
For more information on the competition and on how to get involved, visit the display in the MU Quad or Campus Recycling’s website at recycle.oregonstate.edu.
Lara von Linsowe-Wilson, news reporter