Recyclemania encourages sustainability beyond eight week event

News Editor and News Editor

If students thought they were recycling a lot before, they have another thought coming these next eight weeks.

Sunday marked the beginning of Recyclemania, an annual event hosted by the Office of Sustainability where the University competes against more than 600 schools in multiple categories for eight weeks to become be the most sustainable. The prize includes a trophy made out of recyclable materials.

“But we hope that after this, students will be educated enough to continue to recycle,” said Taylor Raines, student and intern in the Office of Sustainability.

During the course of the eight weeks, Raines and others who work there will be walking around to residence halls to reward those who they notice recycling with little prizes.

They will also be encouraging students, faculty and staff to understand the importance of recycling and why they should participate.

“We are a part of the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment and [are] trying to reduce our carbon footprint, so this is important to us,” Raines said.

The University is participating in the waste minimization of bottles and cans, cardboard and paper categories this year.

Nick Hennessy and his team will turn in the University’s total recycled weights for all the items recycled once a week and will be given a score based on the number of students, faculty and staff at the University.

“We are part of the “waste reduction” competition category this year, for the second time ever,” said Hennessy, director of sustainability. “That means we not only need to do well with recycling, but we also need to make an effort to reduce our waste overall.”

This year, Lara Lengel’s Environmental Communications class will be working with the Office of Sustainability with marketing and promotion of the event.

The class is helping out by making and posting fliers, planning some events and communicating to the University and community about the event.

“It is a great example of a class actually being involved in the promotion of the success of a real event that’s going to make a positive change for BGSU,” Hennessy said.

Because the event runs for eight weeks, Hennessy said they need to do things to keep people aware of and excited about the event until it is over.

Lengel, a professor in the Department of Communications, said she was excited for her class to be involved.

“The Environmental Communication is the first course of its kind at BGSU,” Lengel said. “It is a hands-on approach to mastering subject material in environmental communication while enhancing civic responsibility.”

Senior Cole Hamrick thinks Recyclemania is a good way to get others involved.

“I participate because the University tries hard each year to get students to recycle,” Hamrick said.

He remembers when he was in residence halls each hall in his building would have a competition a week on who could recycle those most.

“You just got to make it fun for you and it will be easy,” he said.

Hennessy said the office’s biggest challenge is getting the community to become aware that this contest exists and that everyone can participate.

“Every can, bottle, newspaper, cardboard box, etc. counts and can make a difference,” he said. “We find that sometimes it just takes the sharing of some very basic knowledge to get more people involved.”