|For the Temple Times|
|There are some challenges that you can lose, and then there are those that make everyone a winner.
During the next few months, Facilities Management is asking all members of the Temple community to pitch in and do to recycle and reduce waste as the University battles it out in the national RecycleMania Competition.
RecycleMania is a friendly competition among college and university recycling programs across the United States that provides campus communities with a fun, proactive activity in waste reduction and recycling.
The competition is jointly sponsored by Facilities Management and the Recycling Office, as well as student members of the Students for Environmental Action organization and the Student Government environmental committee.
Spanning 10 weeks, the competition began Jan. 28 and will continue through April 7, giving student environmentalists an opportunity to raise awareness among members of the campus community about waste minimization strategies and recycling opportunities at Temple.
In a contest where every plastic bottle will be counted and every aluminum can tallied, Temple’s Recycling Manager H. Marshall Budin stresses the importance of participation.
“This is the first year we are competing in this challenge, and the response has been very positive thus far,” he said. “We have a lot of plans and activities in the works to get the rest of the student body involved.”
While this is the first time Temple is taking up the challenge, RecycleMania has been around for more than five years. Organized originally by Ohio University and Miami University to raise campus awareness about waste reduction and recycling, the competition has grown to more than 200 participating schools.
According to the contest’s website, college residence halls and dining halls are generally the largest producers of campus waste — accounting for 30 to 70 percent of all campus trash. But Budin has already tried to cut down on Temple’s food waste by putting into place some creative alternatives.
“We do an outstanding job collecting food waste from the dining hall for conversion into animal feed and are working with Dining Services to streamline cardboard recycling,” he said.
Several ideas are being considered to put Temple over the edge. Currently, students are organizing campus outreach and material collection events, which will be announced. Data will be tracked and reported weekly to RecycleMania administrators and posted on the RecycleMania website.
“To build excitement, student organizers are proposing to convert a recycling Dumpster into a rolling billboard to promote the event in public areas and invite pedestrians to deposit their recyclables in the Dumpster,” Budin said. They are working with resident assistants to hold recycling awareness workshops in the dorms. They also hope to increase the number of clearly labeled recycling bins around campus.
For more information on RecycleMania and Temple’s progress, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org.
For information on Temple’s recycling program, visit the Recycling Office’s site at www.temple.edu/facilities/rechome.htm.