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The Antelope

Recyclemania aims to make big return in 2018


Recyclemania will be returning to UNK’s campus this spring with a few adjustments from last year’s competition 

Andrea Stachura
Antelope Staff

UNK will kick off their Recyclemania Feb. 19, and it will conclude on March 16, the Friday before spring break. Over the course of four weeks, students from each residence hall on campus will compete against each other in a March Madness-style tournament to see who can recycle the most. The goal of this event is to help educate students on campus about recycling in a fun and competitive way.

While student residence halls will be competing against each other, they will also be competing against their residence hall’s waste-to-recycling conversion rate from the Recyclemania event in Spring 2017. This year’s winners of Recyclemania will be announced the first Tuesday after spring break at the donut hole eating competition on March 27. The top two winning residence halls will each receive a party catered by Qdoba.

In previous years, the measurements of how much each hall recycled was based on how many barrels were collected. However, this wasn’t  the most accurate way to measure the amount of recycling that was actually collected from the residence halls. For this year’s contest, the university received a grant to purchase a recycling and waste compactor.  The machine will make it easier to accurately measure waste-to-recycling ratios and how much each hall has recycled.

The compactor will also change how campus waste is collected. Instead of having a city garbage truck come to campus and collect trash, two dedicated staff members will collect all the recycling and waste on campus. The waste will then be processed at the compacting site. For the competition, the Facilities Management and Planning department will oversee keeping track of the amounts of recycling collected by each residence hall. Res Life will be working with the Residence Assistants in each hall to promote the event and encourage students to participate.

Following the trend of hundreds of campuses across the country, Recyclemania is a small part of UNK’s big plans to become zero waste by 2050 through reducing, reusing and recycling. While this is a great practice for the environment, it also allows the University to avoid purchasing costs, reduces landfill and hauling service fees and engages campus and the community in reaching sustainability goals.

These goals helped influence the University’s decision to install new receptacles for single stream recycling and landfill-bound solid waste in most campus facilities and on campus grounds. Facilities Management and Planning is working to create more recycling signage, education, and other communication to encourage sustainable practices on campus and in students’ personal lives.

Through events like Recyclemania, UNK plans to educate and engage students in recycling practices with the hope of instilling long-term sustainable habits. Students are encouraged to get involved in campus sustainability through the student sustainability group. They are a new group on campus who will be brainstorming sustainability campaigns at UNK. Their goal is to keep students involved in sustainable practices year-round.

To find out more information or to get involved with campus sustainability you can go to UNK’s sustainability Facebook page.

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