Kent State competes with other schools’ recycling programs

Helen Steward

Despite the snow-covered grounds, Kent State will be going green this February and March in the Recyclemania competition.

Melanie Knowles, sustainability manager for facilities planning and operations, said Kent State has been competing in Recyclemania for the past four years. She said the first year the university participated in Recyclemania, Kent State counted only the recycling numbers from the residence halls. The second year, the university expanded the contest to be a campus-wide initiative, and it entered the competition division.

Recyclemania Results (out of 228 schools):

Kent State’s rank: 141

25.31 percent recycling rate for last week

Other Ohio Schools:

University of Akron: 206

Cuyahoga County Community College: 183

Bowling Green State: 155

The Ohio State University Main Campus: 118

Ohio University Southern Campus: 110

Ohio University Main Campus: 76

Youngstown State University: 47

According to eInside, the 2012 competition included roughly 605 colleges. Knowles said this year, Kent State is right in the middle of the competition division, but has already shown improving numbers from last year. Kent State has had a strong recycling program for many years, but Knowles said the university can do better than where it is now.

Youngstown State, Baldwin Wallace University and The Ohio State University are a few of the other Ohio schools participating in Recyclemania. Kent State’s main rival, the University of Akron, is also participating. Kent State beat the University of Akron last year, and is also ahead of them this year so far.

Knowles said Kent State is promoting the competition through different sources. One way is through residence halls. Students living on campus are aware of the event from Resident Assistants and programs they set up for residents. Knowles said she is working on reaching the part of Kent State’s student body that does not live in the residence halls with events she has planned.

“It’s a lot harder to do outreach beyond the residence halls because there isn’t already an existing structure,” Knowles said.

She said that she has been finding different sites on campus to catch students “green handed,” which she described as recycling instead of just throwing garbage in the trash. Students she catches “green handed” will be rewarded for their efforts.

Volunteers will also be at the Kent State basketball game against Bowling Green on March 5 to explain recycling and Recyclemania to those in attendance. Knowles said there will be plenty of recycling containers throughout the lobby that night, and students will have an opportunity to sign a recycling banner that will hang over the esplanade on campus.

Contact Helen Steward at [email protected] .