Starting on Monday, Feb. 4, the University of Mary Washington will join colleges and universities across the country in RecycleMania, an annual eight-week competition to reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste. More than 600 schools are participating this year, representing all 50 states as well as five Canadian provinces.
This year marks UMW’s fifth time in the Per Capita Classic Competition category, which measures the percentage of recycled materials per person.
“We were number one in Virginia last year and 18th in the overall competition so the bar is high this year,” said Joni Wilson, UMW’s director of landscape and grounds.
To earn first place, UMW recycled 37.96 pounds of materials per person over eight weeks, which is equivalent to more than 200,000 pounds of recyclables kept out of landfills. The 182 metric tons of CO2 kept out of the atmosphere through recycling equaled the equivalent of taking 97 cars off the road.
“It is about more than winning,” said Wilson. “It is an opportunity for us to raise awareness about recycling programs and sustainability issues in general.”
Throughout the competition, members of UMW’s Ecology Club and RecycleMania volunteers will collect recyclables from residence halls, hand out rewards to students, faculty and staff and encourage the campus community to commit to green practices.
UMW’s year-round recycling categories of cardboard, mixed paper and co-mingled glass, aluminum and plastics will remain the same during the competition. Statistics and weekly recycling data will be published throughout the competition at http://recyclemaniacs.org/.
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News release prepared by: Julia Davis