National college recycling competition hits final weeks

by rcnewsblog on February 27, 2013

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There are 10 seconds on the clock. The game is tied. The suspense continues to mount while the audience anxiously hopes for a buzzer-beating victory.

Roanoke College is in the final countdown of the 2013 RecycleMania competition. Next week marks the halfway point in this eight-week collegiate competition. Now is more important than ever to recycle paper, cardboard, bottles and cans.

In the 2011 RecyleMania competition, Roanoke finished first in the ODAC, second in Virginia and 41st overall, out of the 363 registered schools. Roanoke placed ahead of such universities as Brown, Princeton and Harvard.

RecycleMania began in 2001 as a competition between Ohio University and Miami University. Since its inception, it has grown to include more than 630 colleges from 49 states in the United States and Canada.

According to its  website, the founders of RecycleMania credit the spirit of competition as the source for their success.

In the 2012 RecycleMania competition, more than 6.2 million students, faculty and staff across North America participated and recycled more than 94.4 million pounds of organic materials and other recyclables.

Roanoke participates in the per capita  classic, which is one of the nine divisions in the annual competition. In this division, a college’s ranking is determined by the weight of each school’s recycled trash, divided by the population of students, faculty and staff.

“Since emphasizing and expanding our recycling program at Roanoke a few years ago, we have reduced the amount of trash that goes to landfills by one-third,” said Larry Walker, who works in Roanoke’s Business Affairs Department and serves as the co-coordinator of the College’s involvement in RecycleMania and RC Sustain.

RC Sustain, a club that focuses on sustainability, has grown from two hired student workers to 13 since 2009. This expansion has enabled the program to collect more recyclables than ever, said Carrie Carson, a senior at Roanoke and founding member of RC Sustain.

“The RecycleMania program is an important event because it generates excitement and publicity for the recycling program on campus,” Carson said.

In the first two weeks of this year’s competition, Roanoke College recycled a total of 5,384 pounds of recycled items, which equals 1.91 pounds per person.

Every piece of paper, cardboard, bottle and can counts. So locate the nearest recycling bin and recycle.

For more information, contact Roanoke’s student recycling coordinators—Carrie Carson, Ben Garst, Travis Lumpkin and Naida Berbic.

-By Caitlin Mitchell ’13

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