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Dartmouth College Office of Public Affairs • Press Release
The competition this winter isn’t just on the ski slopes, the ice rink, or the basketball court. Look to campus recycle bins for the action from Jan. 18-March 28 as Dartmouth participates in the intercollegiate contest called RecycleMania. More than 500 colleges and universities representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and India are competing this year to see who can recycle the most.
“Our goal with RecycleMania is to bring some attention to recycling and to remind people to participate,” says Gary Hill, the director of custodial and recycling services with Dartmouth’s Department of Facilities Operations and Maintenance.
Hill works on this annual competition, which is administered by the National Recycling Coalition, with student groups and other departments to boost recycling awareness. The competition includes the entire campus, including Dartmouth Medical School, the Thayer School of Engineering, and the Tuck School of Business. There are strict rules, including guidelines for weighing and measuring the recycled material, and awards are presented in a variety of categories.
“Right now, we’re working on a grassroots effort to get the word out, mainly getting students to help,” says Jessica Krug, a member of the class of 2011 and the Dartmouth Recycles Intern. “We will resort to knocking on doors if we have to, to spread the word.” Krug and Sarah Frostenson ’11 are co-chairs of RecycleMania.
According to Hill, Dartmouth has participated in RecycleMania for at least six years. Last year, Dartmouth registered for the “actual weight” category (rather than the “weight-by-volume” category) and finished 46th out of 182. Dartmouth currently diverts about 30 percent of its trash from the landfill by recycling glass, mixed paper, aluminum cans, cardboard, plastic, food waste (compost), and universal waste (items like light bulbs and batteries). Hill would be happy to finish stronger in the year’s RecycleMania, and even more excited to see the landfill diversion rate increase.
“While we’ve had a formal recycling program for many years, it’s always important to constantly remind our community that it does make a difference and it’s one of the key elements of our sustainability initiative,” says Hill. “Competing in RecycleMania offers us a chance to find ways to make our program more efficient and effective.”
RecycleMania also contributes to Dartmouth’s institutional commitment to sustainability, recycling, and waste minimization. Last September, Dartmouth President James Wright pledged to reduce the College’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 30 percent by the year 2030.
Krug reports that plans are underway for an informal Trashion Show, where students create and display outfits made from trash. Other programs target residence halls, Greek houses, and dining halls. RecycleMania is one example of how the Dartmouth campus unites for a common cause, as with the annual campus-wide Waste-Free Community Cookout with nary a paper plate or plastic fork in sight and the Sustainable Move-In Sale that promotes resale and reuse of items students don’t need or want anymore.
For more information, and to track Dartmouth’s progress, visit www.recyclemania.org.
Dartmouth has television (satellite uplink) and radio (ISDN) studios available for domestic and international live and taped interviews. For more information, call 603-646-3661 or see our Radio, Television capability webpage.