At half-way point, UNL in top 10 percent in Recyclemania

Recyclemania 2012
Recyclemania 2012

Halfway through the national college Recyclemania contest, UNL ranks in the top 10 percent of participants and leads its Big Ten colleagues in at least one category.

Recyclemania is a friendly competition pitting 605 universities in the United States and Canada in an effort to promote recycling. The contest measures waste, recycled paper, recycled cardboard, and recycled plastics. The eight-week contest began Feb. 5. After two weeks, UNL was ranked 56 and led the seven Big Ten universities that are participating.

The five areas of competition are Per Capita Classic (total recyclables per capita), Waste Minimization (total diversion per capita), Grand Champion (percentage recycled), Gorilla Prize (highest volume of recyclables collected) and Target Materials (highest volume of paper, cardboard, cans collected).

UNL is 56th in waste minimization, averaging 3.7 pounds of waste per capita per week. UNL also is ranked 56th in the Gorilla category, recycling 64,890 pounds of materials during the first two weeks of the competition.

“We are number one in the Big Ten in producing the least amount of both recyclables and trash combined on a per-person basis,” said Prabhakar "Prabs" Shrestha, one of UNL’s recycling coordinators. “We would like to thank the university community for participating in Recyclemania and helping us to this point.”

With four weeks left, the contest isn’t over.

Sustain UNL, a student environmental club and Recyclemania organizer, has been in the Nebraska Union on Tuesdays encouraging people to pledge to recycle all materials possible. More than 200 students have pledged to participate in on-campus recycling.

Other awareness activities include a photo contest on the Facebook page for UNL Recycling and UNL’s Recyclemania page. Participants are encouraged to post pictures of themselves or their friends committing an act of recycling. Others can vote on the best pictures.

Jeff Henson, UNL’s other recycling coordinator, encouraged UNL faculty and staff to take advantage of Spring Break week and purge offices and shelves of recyclable paper. Old journals, articles, notes and other items all count as office paper. Faculty and staff can use their departmental recycling bins, or if they have large amounts of materials to recycle, they can contact the Recycling Office at 402-472-9139 or to get roll-off totes delivered.

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- Kim Hachiya, University Communications