By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY – Residence hall students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney recycled 13,289 pounds of material during Recycle-Mania.
Recycle-Mania is a recycling competition between residence halls on campus and aims to educate residents about recycling opportunities at UNK. Over a six-week period, UNK collected and weighed recyclable material from residence halls.
“When we first started discussing Recycle-Mania last year, we felt that recycling would allow us to educate students and it would be important to promote on campus,” said Meredith DeHaven, office associate for facilities management and planning.
“We felt that because the resident life students come from such a variety of backgrounds from all over, we could educate students about recycling and that, hopefully, they could take what they learned about recycling to other areas of their lives.”
This year’s event totaled 3,250 pounds more than last year, when students recycled 9,457 pounds of material during Recycle-Mania.
“This increase alone is equal to over one and a half tons of waste saved from the landfill,” said LeAnn Jochum, associate director of Residence Life. “Total recycling from Recycle-Mania’s six weeks is equal to saving 113 trees, 46,000 gallons of water or 13 barrels of oil.”
This year, Men’s Hall won the competition with an average of 15.7 pounds recycled per resident, or 1,600 pounds total. The winning residence hall won a dinner party.
The residence hall with the greatest improvement over last year was Mantor-Randall Hall, with an average of 10.7 pounds of recycling per resident. The residence hall won an ice cream social for its efforts.
So far this fiscal year, residence halls have generated 32.3 tons of recycling. During the 2015-2016 fiscal year, the residence halls generated 15.8 tons of recycling.
During Recycle-Mania this year, there were additional opportunities for residence halls to join and follow the UNK Sustainability Facebook page and attend a recycling or environmental program.
UNK established a sustainability committee in 2009. Sustainability is a comprehensive approach to managing the effects of global climate change. Creating a sustainable campus means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Some of the sustainability efforts implemented since the committee was formed include Dining Services transitioning to trayless dining, installation of 21 water bottle refill stations, an upgraded central utility plant, elimination of most fluorescent lighting throughout campus, overhaul of the recycling program, and implementation of a bicycle sharing program and the Enterprise CarShare program.
UNK’s goal is to increase the recycling rate on campus to 50 percent. In 2014, the recycling rate was 12 percent. The event was sponsored by Residence Life and the UNK Sustainability Committee.
ITEMS TO RECYCLE ON CAMPUS
Mixed office paper
Cleaned with water
Remove plastic or metal lids
No drinking or window glass
Empty can goodies
To go containers
#1, #2, #4 and #5 plastic (Check bottom of container for #)
Laundry detergent bottle
Film Plastic Bags
Plastic grocery and clothing store bags, bread sacks, and water softener bags.
Cardboard boxes, cereal boxes, pop cartons, pizza containers etc.
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Meredith DeHaven, 308.865.8577, email@example.com