By Joan Hicken.
Auburn University is participating in the Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly known as RecycleMania), a friendly competition for colleges and universities to promote waste reduction and recycling to their campus communities, that runs through March 27. During the eight-week tournament, schools report the amount of recycling and waste collected, then the total amounts are ranked into different categories, like who collects the largest number of recyclables per capita or who has the highest recycling rate.
Use the recycling bins to help Auburn University win! With recycling bins located across campus, both in buildings and along university walkaways, the opportunities are always available. Plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, paper, and cardboard can be recycled in hundreds of different bins.
Reduce waste and reduce the university’s environmental footprint. Cutting down on the amount of waste being introduced at the university can be simple and lessen the environmental impact over all of campus. A simple thing everyone can do is reduce their paper waste. Say no to printing and communicate electronically when you can. If you do have to print, print double-sided. Using a refillable bottle instead of a single-use plastic bottle also can eliminate waste, as well as refusing other single-use items like plastic straws or bags.
Last year during the competition, the university averaged more than 4 pounds of recyclables per person, collecting 134,344 pounds of plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, paper, and cardboard. The tournament reached 4.5 million college students, faculty, and staff from 300 U.S. and Canadian campuses, recycling, donating, or composting nearly 49 million pounds of material. This prevented the release of 70,875 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, equivalent to preventing annual emissions from 15,047 cars.
We participate in the Campus Race to Zero Waste to demonstrate our commitment to environmental stewardship and to generate attention for the university’s recycling and waste reduction programs. The competition serves as a great way to encourage university students, faculty, and staff to waste less and recycle more.
Post Contributed by Joan Hicken, Manager, Waste Reduction and Recycling