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Lycoming College students, faculty and staff recently wrapped up their RecycleMania campaign, which ran from Jan. 31-March 28. This marks the fifth year that the College has taken steps to increase awareness of recycling opportunities by participating in the friendly competition.
RecycleMania pits colleges and universities across the United States against one another to show who can recycle the most waste at their institution. The race was created to foster a greater sense of accountability among college students and to encourage them to recycle waste in every part of their daily lives.
To effectively compete, the Lycoming College Sustainability Committee ensures that marked recycling bins are placed in dorm rooms, offices and other campus facilities, in an effort to promote clean living and sustainable practices campus-wide throughout the duration of the competition. The recycled materials are then collected, weighed and reported for comparison with other institutions.
Lycoming College has steadily improved its results in the per capita (person) category in the competition, moving from 46% in 2017 to 78% in 2018, ranking it in the top 50% in recycling per capita (per person) among competing institutions overall. This year’s efforts have helped the campus to recycle 7.2 pounds per capita (per person) for a total of 11,976 pounds during the eight-week competition. The College credits the increase with the introduction of single-stream recycling, allowing students the option to place all recyclables into one bin, without the need to sort. Materials are later sorted at the Lycoming County Recycling Center.
Team coordinator, Katie Katzenberger ’18, a biology major from Lake Hopatcong, N.J., and biology major from Cochranville, Pa., Andrew Shelly ’18, project manager, both oversee the project and continuously encourage the campus community to improve their recycling efforts.
“RecycleMania should encourage progress but should also be something we think about as individuals every day,” said Shelly. “I hope this effort can encourage the community to think about sustainability, but also question what habits in their lives are not currently sustainable and address them. That way we create a positive change that can grow on our campus for years to come.”
Can this be recycled? Is it biodegradable? Is this reusable? These are all questions that RecycleMania will continue to prompt participants to think about more, in the hopes of evoking real change in recycling habits on campus. More information on the Lycoming College Sustainability Committee is available at http://www.lycoming.edu/sustainability/.