Recyclemania has returned to Emory for the fourth consecutive year, concentrating University attention on waste and spurring a friendly sense of competition between colleges.
The ninth-annual Recyclemania, a competition among universities around the nation to reduce extensive waste disposal, embarked on its 10-week run on Jan. 18.
Andrew Tate, a member of the Emory Environmental Alliance (EEA), wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel
that Recyclemania is the kind of healthy competition that is the driving force at any university.
“Recyclemania is a way to tap into that energy and direct it towards the improvement of our individual and collective responsibility to conserve our resources and respect the environment of which we are all a part,” he wrote.
Emory, which has competed in the competition each year since 2006, will be judged in a number of categories within the competition, such as the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables by weight, the least amount of trash per capita and the highest recycling rate, or the amount of recycling diverted from the total waste stream.
Emory won fourth place in the contest for recycling the targeted material of paper in 2007.
EEA President Ryan Jones said that because the contest goes on for so long, Recyclemania is less about competing and more about building habits.
“It’s more of a marathon, not a sprint,” Jones said.
So far in the competition, Emory has achieved a 23.19 weekly recycling rate, up 20 percent from last year. In the pounds-per-person category, Emory is at 2.74 pounds per person after the first week, and in the waste minimization category, Emory is at 11.83 pounds per person. For the Gorilla Prize, or total pounds recycled, Emory stands at 64,109 pounds, down from last year’s week-one total of 72,197 pounds.
Jessica Levy (’08C), a staff member for the Recycling Department and head of Recyclemania promotion on campus, wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel
that the Gorilla category is typically the most difficult for the University. On the other hand, she wrote, Emory excels in waste minimization and in recycling targeted material, such as white paper.
“It’s tougher for us to compete in the Gorilla Prize because we’re only a medium-sized university competing with bigger state schools,” Levy wrote.
This year, the Recycling Department has partnered up with the Varsity Athletic Department in order to reach its goal of beating last year’s Recyclemania records.
For every 10 recyclable items a student brings to a varsity sports event, he or she will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a cash prize at the last UAA home game on Feb. 28.
“It is our goal that every student will get involved and contribute to making recycling a central way of life for the next few weeks,” Tate wrote.
Ideally, he said, students will continue to recycle long after the competition is over and will be more aware of environmental issues.
“The solutions to our mounting environmental crises will not be discovered and implemented without the individual initiatives and contributions of young people,” Tate wrote. “We will do our best to ensure that Emory lives up to its mission as a truly sustainable and ecologically contributive campus from the top down and the ground up.”
—Contact Alice Chen.