It’s Recycle Mania
Publication Date: 3/21/2011
As part of the continuing initiative to increase recycling on campus, Rhodes is once again participating in Recycle Mania, a nation-wide collegiate recycling challenge. This year, 630 schools are participating in the competition, which aims to promote waste reduction on college campuses. At the end of each of the eight weeks of competition, which runs through April 2, schools enter their recycling data into the online database to see how they compare with similar schools.
“Recycling has become a real part of our Rhodes culture over the last few years,” Associate Director of Physical Plant Tracy Adkisson says. “A program like this is great to draw attention to how important it is to divert materials away from the landfills.”
Rhodes participates in the competition through the recycling of aluminum, plastic, paper and cardboard. Recycling is collected by Physical Plant student workers, and recycling weight is then tabulated into a per capita statistic. From the data, John Menz ’14 calculates a campus-wide per capita recycling rate, which is submitted online each week. An Environmental Resident, Menz has worked with students at Physical Plant to spearhead the project this year. “Rhodes has an enormous impact on the Memphis community, and it is efforts like Recycle Mania that encourage people to recycle instead of throwing everything in the trash,” Menz says.
The Environmental Residents (E.R.), a group of students committed to making Rhodes more environmentally friendly while raising awareness about environmental issues, has been involved with the competition since Rhodes first participated in 2007. E.R. president Emily Sellers ’11 says that one benefit to the program is being able to see how Rhodes compares with other similar schools in terms of recycling.
“In Tennessee, there are 11 colleges and universities that participate,” Sellers says. “So it is cool to see what they are doing because you get some really good ideas. I would love for Rhodes to get more competitive, because I think it is a great way to get students excited about recycling.”
This is also the second year that the data is being broken down by dorm to create an inter-dorm competition. At the end of the eight weeks, the dorm that has recycled the most total material per capita will receive a prize. The Environmental Residents started the inter-dorm competition with the idea of inspiring friendly dorm rivalries that would in turn lead to increased recycling.
Adkisson says that having a period of time when attention is focused on the significance of recycling is very valuable. “Hopefully there will come a time in the future when Recycle Mania doesn’t even make sense because recycling is so commonplace, but until then, I’m glad for it,” Adkisson says.
(information compiled by Rhodes Student Associate Lucy Kellison ’13)