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March 29, 2010

Contest helps raise eco-awareness

Mt. Trashmore
Mt. Trashmore is an annual event at which student
volunteers collect all the trash generated from Wilson
Commons, Rush Rhees Library, and Frederick Douglass
Building for an entire day and pile it up in front of Wilson
Commons for all to see. "The point is to make students
think about the trash that they produce," says student
organizer Andrew Spink ’10. "We all need to remember
that it doesn’t just go away.

Although the final results will not be available until later this spring, the University is expected to fare well in this year’s RecycleMania event.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition among colleges and universities across the country to raise awareness for recycling and waste reduction. Efforts from all campuses in the University community were included in the competition.

Over the 10-week contest period, institutions report recycling and trash data. Then, they are ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate.

For most of the competition, the University also ranked in the top 25 for the Gorilla Prize, which measures the highest gross tonnage of recyclables regardless of campus population. In the Targeted Material-Paper division, which measured the amount of paper recycled per person, Rochester was beating schools like Rutgers, Dartmouth, and Brown and ranking near the top 10 for much of the competition.

Students, with the help of recycling coordinator Amy Kadrie, organized several events during the competition to raise awareness about RecycleMania and its goals for reducing campus waste.

Mt. Trashmore is an annual event at which student volunteers collect all the trash generated from Wilson Commons, Rush Rhees Library and Frederick Douglass Building for an entire day and pile it up in front of Wilson Commons for all to see.

“The point is to make students think about the trash that they produce,” says student organizer Andrew Spink ’10. “We all need to remember that it doesn’t just go away.”

Grassroots copresident Edith Hanson ’12 led another initiative, Feelin’ Trashy, in which students carried in a bag all the trash that they produced over the course of the day. Participating students gathered at the Community Learning Center at the end of the day to weigh in and discuss waste-saving ideas.

Kadrie says she is impressed by the students’ efforts, but she stresses that although RecycleMania has ended, the waste-reduction efforts at the University must go on. “Recycle everything that you can, including paper, cardboard, plastics, bottles, and cans,” she says.

Learn more about RecycleMania at www.recyclemaniacs.org.

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