"Recycling Goal: To Beat ASU"
Arizona Daily Wildcat, February 1, 2005
By Aubrey McDonnell
Yesterday kicked off the second annual Residence Life "Recyclemania" contest taking place in all campus residence halls.
Recyclemania is a 10-week nationwide competition to see which residence hall can recycle the most material. Recyclable materials include cans, bottles, paper and cardboard.
The number of universities involved this year has skyrocketed nationwide. Last year, there were 17 universities across the country involved in Recyclemania, and this year nearly 40 schools are competing.
However, to improve the chances of winning, some changes still need to be made.
"We are not afraid of the new competition," said Jessica Schluederberg, Recyclemania coordinator.
"This is our second year, so we'll definitely have an edge over the people who just joined the competition this year," Schluederberg said. "We are trying to promote the contest more to get a better turnout this year; we really want to beat ASU."
Schluederberg, an environmental science and geography junior, is confident that her team of recycle chairmen will have what it takes to beat Arizona State University in the competition this year. Last year ASU placed 14th in the competition, while the UA finished second to last of the 17 competing universities.
Last year, the UA raised 5.77 pounds of recyclables per resident. ASU raised 16.82. The winning school, Miami University in Ohio, collected 58.28 pounds per resident.
"I'm going to recycle everything possible," said Cait Palmer, a physical education sophomore.
"I want to work twice as hard to beat ASU this year because the goal of every UA student should be to beat ASU," Palmer said.
Organizers of the competition have been putting up signs, handing out fliers and hanging up banners to advertise the contest.
Recyclemania coordinators have been announcing the contest at residence hall wing meetings and may even make a 30-second commercial ad for UATV. All funding for promotions comes from the Residence Life recycling fund.
Separate from the nationwide contest, the UA holds its own competition in the residence halls.
Pima Residence Hall, 1340 E. First St., won the competition last year and Phoebe Perkins, Pima recycling chairwoman, said this was because almost everyone in the hall recycles.
"Pima is very small so it's easy to get the word out to the residents about Recyclemania," Perkins said. "Pretty much everyone in the hall recycles because the bins are in a very accessible area."
Chris Leet was last year's recycling chairman for Gila Residence Hall, 1009 E. North Campus Drive, and said the hall was positive about winning the whole time.
"We got third place last year and I really thought we were going to win it," Leet said.
This year Leet is working even harder to win. He is now the recycling chairman of Villa Del Puente Residence Hall, 575 N. Highland Ave., and hopes to get his fellow residents motivated to win.
"People live for a little bit of competition," Leet said. "So if we can give them some competition and get them to recycle at the same time, it's good for everyone in the long run."
Leet and other residents empty 42 recycle bins twice a week in Villa Del Puente and hope to be emptying more now that the competition is under way.
This is the first year that Posada San Pedro Residence Hall, 601 N. Highland Ave., will be competing in the campus-wide competition. Lisa Barrett, recycling chairwoman for San Pedro, is working very hard to win the competition this year.
"We are having a competition between each floor in the dorm to get them motivated," said Barrett, a chemistry and biochemistry sophomore. "The incentive is an ice cream party for the winning floor."
Leet and chairmen from 16 of the 20 halls on campus will weigh their recycling once a week throughout the competition, with a field coordinator responsible for bringing bags of recycled goods to the campus-recycling center located behind the Circle K on East Sixth Street.
The total weight from each hall's recyclables is recorded to keep track of who is ahead in the competition on a week-to-week basis.
The winning residence hall gets $1,000 to spend on new recycling bins.
The objective of the national competition is to promote recycling for years to come. There is no prize money for the winner of the national contest. Instead, the winner can be proud of the sweet taste of success for winning this friendly competition.
"Recycling is important for our future and a good skill to learn in college," Schluederberg said. "It is essential to sustain life on earth."
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