With only two weeks left in RecycleMania 2012, the Office of Sustainability is encouraging the Temple community to amp up its recycling efforts.
This is the sixth year Temple has participated in the friendly eight-week competition, which is designed to promote recycling and waste minimization at universities nationwide. After winning first place last year in the Atlantic 10 category for the Gorilla Prize with 414,640 lbs. of recycled waste collected, this year’s goal was increased to 415,000 pounds in total recycling.
Over the past four weeks, however, Temple has collected only 177,180 pounds, less than half of that overall goal. Although the university is ahead of A-10 competitors George Washington University and Xavier, it may fall short without a late surge in bulk collections.
“The university community has become accustomed to placing first in the Gorilla Prize category, but this year we have seen our recycling numbers drop substantially,” said Kathleen Grady, coordinator in Temple’s Office of Sustainability. “We need to remember that just like in athletics, we can’t take the underdogs for granted. It's not a sure thing.”
At the same time, Grady says, the decrease in recycling is testament to Temple’s changing culture and new sustainability initiatives such as double-sided printing and default water bottle refilling stations.
“It shows that we’re doing really well in waste minimization,” said Grady. “That's really where the future is for Temple.”
The university is leading the competition in the Waste Minimization category, is in second place for the Grand Champion category and is in fifth place for the Per Capita Classic category.
Several Temple schools and colleges, such as the School of Education and the School of Communications and Theater, are encouraging participation by giving away prizes to people who bring in boxes of recyclable materials.
Recyclable materials collected for the competition include paper, bottles, cans and cardboard.
For more information about RecycleMania, as well as to keep track of Temple’s progress, visit the Office of Sustainability website.