Kent State to compete in Recyclemania, a national contest to encourage recycling

Kate Murphy

Kent State hopes to beat out the competition in this year’s eight-week long Recyclemania national contest held by the College and University Recycling Council that begins Feb. 6.

During the eight-week period, Kent State will be monitoring and publishing the amount of collected recyclable materials from each of the residence halls, as well as the academic buildings, and ranking the collection results with other schools from across the nation.

Residence Services is also raising the stakes by hosting a hall vs. hall competition to find out which of the residence halls can recycle the most during these eight weeks. The hall with the most recyclables collected will be awarded $200 toward for its hall council.

Andy Weyand, coordinator of resident operations and facilities, said the challenge is that recycling bins are frequently filled with food, half-full beverage containers and other non-recyclables which forces these materials to be thrown out as garbage. Recycling correctly by placing only recyclable materials in the blue bins is the only requirement necessary to participate in Recyclemania.

To guide students on what is recyclable, Residence Services is currently posting new recycling guides throughout the halls, showing students what items can and cannot be placed in the recycle bins. The recyclable items include glass, aluminum, paper, cardboard and plastic.

This is not Kent State’s first time participating in this event, but it is the first year the school is competing.

“Kent State enrolled last year for the first time in Recyclemania in the ‘Benchmark Division,’ meaning that we were not competing but simply keeping score to find out where we stand compared to other campuses throughout the country,” Weyand said. “Last year, the Kent State main campus finished 71st with about 18.5 pounds of recyclables per capita. 2011 will be our first year competing in Recyclemania and we hope to top our collected weights from 2010.”

Kent State noticed last year’s campus recycling totals increased during the competition period. The weight of the collected recyclable materials increased from approximately 42,000 pounds in January to 62,000 pounds in April.

“Kent State has been recycling materials for many years, but there is always room to grow and improve,” Weyand said. “Recyclemania is aimed at not only doing well in the final rankings but also at promoting awareness of the recycling program at Kent State and hopefully instilling students, faculty and staff with long-term recycling habits.”

Anyone interested in following the results of the competition can follow along each week by clicking the “results” tab on the official Recyclemania website or by following the event on Facebook at “Recyclemania at Kent State” and Twitter at “KSURECYCLEMANIA.”

Kate Murphy is the room and board, buildings and grounds reporter.

Contact Kate Murphy at [email protected].