Virginia Tech’s campus will look a little greener this spring.
Recyclemania, a North American EPA sponsored competition, will be pushing students to clean up their usual dumpster routine.
Recyclemania requires that each participating university measure its total weight in recycled paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum cans, as well as composted organic material from the food service departments. Total weights and per capita amounts are judged for final competition rankings.
The Montgomery Regional Solid Waste Authority in Christiansburg is in charge of measuring and recording the recycled materials, with the exception of the organic compost.
Last year the competition boasted 6.2 million students and staff participants nationwide, resulting in a grand total of 94.4 million pounds of recycled and composted waste.
As for the Hokies, Tech finished second in the commonwealth of Virginia in 2012 to UVa., but still put up substantial numbers.
Last year, Tech accounted for 578,060 pounds of recycled materials, specifically: 208,420 pounds of paper; 127,920 pounds of cardboard; 45,420 pounds of plastic bottles and aluminum cans; and 196,300 pounds of composted organic materials.
The Office of Energy and Sustainability, the governing body for Tech’s involvement in Recyclemania, contributed much of last year’s success to the Library Services’ journal recycling program, which increased paper recycling by 70 percent.
The department has equally high hopes for this year’s competition, setting a goal to further improve recycling by 5 percent and to decrease overall trash output by 5 percent.
All students and faculty are encouraged to participate by making small changes to their daily habits, such as making use of designated recycling containers and reusing common items like water bottles whenever possible.
Student involvement is, however, a priority of the upcoming campaign. Sustainability Program Manager Denny Cochrane is looking for possible groups and individuals to promote the program.
“Our office is meeting with a student rep to discuss ways we can encourage student involvement,” Cochrane said.
Students around campus have had positive reactions to the program.
“It’s a good incentive for colleges to protect all that we have,” said Riley Allison, a freshman in university studies.
Mimi Savage, a sophomore in HNFE agreed.
“(Recylemania) is a really good idea for students to compete to promote a good purpose like recycling,” Savage said.
Recyclemania begins Feb. 3 and will continue until March 30.
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