This year Suffolk embarks on its 6th consecutive year participating in Recycle Mania, a national waste reduction and recycling competition for colleges and universities.
"Recycle Mania provides a fun and structured way for campuses to engage in waste reduction and recycling activities and see how they measure up. We are eager to outdo last year's performance, as we strive to achieve a 50% recycling rate," said Campus Sustainability Coordinator Erica Mattison.
The competition runs from February 5-March 31,2012. Each week, hundreds of schools around the country provide their trash and recycling data and visitors to the website can see how schools are performing.
Just before the start of the 8-week competition, Suffolk Sustainability and Residence Life co-hosted kick off parties in Miller Hall and 150 Tremont. During the competition, Eco-Ambassadors will be conducting waste audits and providing feedback to the campus to raise awareness about items that can be recycled. They will also be hosting several informational tables.
To learn more, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org.
The Grand Champion category is based on the percentage of the total waste stream that gets recycled, in other words the school's recycling rate.
For this category, Suffolk is striving to place in the top 20% nationally and to finish in the top 5 schools statewide.
The campus has been struggling against increased trash output and decreased recycling output, and is seeking to get back on track with its recycling rate. For the first half of FY12, the campus recycling rate has lingered around 40%. The goal for FY12 is to recycle 50% of the waste stream.
How You Can Get in the Game
"Suffolk accepts a wide array of items, and with single stream recycling, all recyclables can go in any recycling bin," said Mattison. "It's easier than ever to recycle at Suffolk and we encourage students, employees, and visitors to take advantage of our hundreds of conveniently located recycling receptacles. In addition to typical items like bottles, cans, plastic containers, and papers, some locations, such as the Donahue Cafe, also enable composting of food scraps."
Coffee cups currently make up a significant amount of the campus trash output. Paper and plastic iced coffee cups, but not Styrofoam, are recyclable. Reduce waste by using a travel mug, but if you forget to this time, choose a paper or plastic cup (not Styrofoam) and recycle it when empty.
Since corrugated cardboard boxes can take up a lot of space in recycling bins and fill them up quickly, users are asked to empty and flatten boxes and place them next to recycling bins for pick-up.
For more information on how to recycle at Suffolk, visit www.suffolk.edu/recycling.