RecycleMania races to a close

The College of Charleston participated in the national RecyleMania competition, which aims to increase recycling rates and reduce waste. (Photo by Olivia Cohen)

The College of Charleston participated in the national RecyleMania competition, which aims to increase recycling rates and reduce waste. (Photo by Olivia Cohen)

This September wrapped up the Office of Sustainability’s RecycleMania competition. RecycleMania is a nationally recognized competition that takes place on many college campuses across the United States.

This competition is a friendly yet competitive race to promote waste reduction. Campuses are recorded and measured based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis.

This goes the same way for the residence halls and historic houses. Here at the College, all dorms building for the entire month of September recycled waste to see who could collect the most. From Sept. 1 to 7, resident assistants collected baseline waste data for their residence hall or historic house. From the Sept. 8 to 28, students, resident assistants and faculty worked diligently to make a more sustainable campus.

The Office will give awards to the residence hall with the best bulletin board and the biggest improvement in recycling rate. The ultimate prize goes to the resident hall or historic house that is the most sustainable, achieving the lowest per capita waste volume. The most sustainable resident hall is awarded with the gift of a sustainable infrastructure of their choice, with options including a new bike rack and a refillable water bottle station.

The final results for the 2013 RecycleMania competition have not been calculated but here are the week by week results on the Recycle CofC website:

Before the competition began, George Street apartments had the best recycling rate and Kelly House held the lowest rate of waste per person.

Heading into the competition, 101 Wentworth recycled the greatest percentage of their waste, and residents of 29 Coming had the lowest waste per person. Full data are unavailable for 90 and 92 Wentworth, 298 and 300 Meeting, PiK, Phiji, ADPi, Sig Delt, Theta, REACH House, 13 Coming, AEPi and Zeta.

As Week 2 finished, Berry, Kelly, and College Lodge took huge leaps forward in recycling rate. George Street Apartments struggled with an increase in total waste volume, but Berry, College Lodge, Liberty and McAlister all reduced total waste.

At the end of Week 2, 92 Wentworth boasted an 11 percent increase in recycling rate, and we were excited to see that 29 Coming and Kappa Sig kicked off their recycling efforts at 9.7 percent and 26.3 percent, respectively. Overall waste volume went up for the houses, but 90 Wentworth joined the competition at 52.25 gallons per person, below the 70.6 gallons per person average for the historic houses.

The motive behind the Office of Sustainability here at the College is simple: They aim toward behavioral change within the students at faculty other than forcing people to recycle. Hopefully, this project will alert students to open their eyes and minds so that even if they do not continue to recycle, at least they have thought about it and been exposed to its benefits.

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