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Join the RecycleMania Challenge

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
March 4, 2009


Time to kick a few cans into those recycling bins located around campus.

It’s time to get competitive.

Boston College has us beat. Ditto for the University of Hartford and the State University of New York-Binghamton. Even Plymouth State University has edged out UNH in the 2009 RecycleMania Challenge.

With four weeks to go in the 10-week competition, UNH’s cumulative recycling rate is 26.14—almost 12 points behind number one Boston College.

Time to kick a few cans—and bottles and paper and cardboard--into those recycling bins located around campus.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition that helps promote waste reduction at colleges and universities. It was started in 2001 by Miami University and Ohio University. More than 500 schools are participating in this year’s challenge.

During the 10-week period, schools report recycling and trash data and receive a ranking based on who has collected the largest amount of recyclables, per capita, total recyclables, least amount of trash per capita and the highest recycling rate. 

Each category has a prize: The Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita Classic Prize for the most combined recyclables per capita (weight of recyclables/population); the Gorilla Prize for the top gross tonnage collector regardless of campus population; and the Waste Minimization Prize for the school with the lowest amount of total waste per capita (weight of recyclables plus the weight of trash/population).  

To compete for the Waste Minimization Prize, schools must pledge to undertake at least three specific waste reduction practices outside of the competition. UNH’s initiatives are to:

  1. Replace paper documents with online alternatives whenever possible (i.e., telephone directories, course catalogs, room selection, bill payment, grade distribution, etc.).

  2. Activate program to reduce unwanted bulk mail from off-campus sources (i.e., creating an opt-out registry for staff and faculty; housing sending out bulk mail removal postcards on behalf of former residents; encouraging the cancellation of unnecessary or duplicate subscriptions.)

  3. Implement campus printing initiatives which prohibit or discourage unlimited printing in computer labs and copy rooms (pay-per-sheet pricing, etc.)

UNH recycles all kinds of paper except waxed or soiled paper and used tissues. That includes soft covered books, cereal boxes, paper towel rolls and pizza boxes; all number one and two plastics; clear and colored glass; metals and broken-down waffled cardboard.

What can’t be recycled? Plastic bags, plastic silverware; light bulbs; Styrofoam; waxed cardboard; paint cans or any containers used previously for hazardous or toxic material.

Toner and ink jet cartridges are recycled; send them through campus mail to the UNH Recycling Center or call to have them picked up: 2-3100.

For more information on recycling at UNH visit http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/faq.html#wasterecycling. To check out how UNH and other schools are doing go to www.recyclemania.org


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