BGSU maintains its lead in Recycle Mania

The University is in the lead as the third year of Recycle Mania proceeds into its eighth week.

Recycle Mania, which started in 2001, is a competition between eight universities in the United States. Last year was the fist year that the University participated and won. It lasts for 10 weeks and the school with the most recycled items wins.

Everyday the recyclables are measured in pounds per number of students who live on-campus. So far 36.8 pounds of recyclables have been collected at the University. Last week the Universities’ total number of pounds was 4.6.

The University has about 6,000 students living on-campus this year out of about 20,000 enrolled. The school is competing against Miami University, Ohio University, Harvard University, the University of Oregon, Western Michigan University, Ohio State University and Washington University.

According to a press release, the goals of this are to have a fair and friendly competition, increase recycling participation by students and staff, heighten awareness of school’s waste management and recycling programs, expand economic opportunities while addressing environmental issues and lower waste generated on-campus.

“It’s a good opportunity to learn about this,” Michelle Ruhlin said, public relations coordinator. “Not everything about this is covered in the majors here and this is a good way for people to become aware and to develop skills.”

Recycle Mania started on February 3 and will go on until Sunday, April 13. The final results will be figured by April 16.

This recycling program is a part of facility services at the university. The facility services department delivers public services to the campus like utilities and trash.

Some funding comes from the University for this too. The general fee funding is about $54,000, but only about one percent of that goes towards the recycling programs.

There is also something called cost avoidance. If all of the recyclables were just taken to the landfill, the university would have to pay a certain amount of money per pound. Instead, that money is given to the recycling program, which works out to about $36.30 per pound.

Also, over the past 10 years, the program has received about $380,000 in grants.

“I became involved in this because I like to be doing something with a higher purpose,” Craig Wittig said, recycling director and coordinator. “I enjoy what we do because we get to think of different, new and better ways to handle recycling.”

“I think this has become second nature for most people though. When we try and take it to the next step, like focusing on energy conservation, it doesn’t happen as easily,” he said.