For the fifth straight year, Colgate is participating in the nationwide recycling contest called RecycleMania. Each year, over 600 colleges and universities—representing over 6 million students and 1.5 million faculty and staff— challenge each other to reduce waste, increase recycling, and raise general awareness of sustainability issues on campus. This year the 8-week competition begins on February 2 and runs through March 29. During this time, we collect and weigh all landfill trash and all recyclables on a weekly basis. We then compare our totals to previous years and with peer institutions across the country.
Since 2010, we have reduced our landfill waste by about 500 lbs. per day (from 4,470 lbs. per day in 2010 to 3,970 lbs. per day in 2013). On the flip side, we have increased our recycling rate from 16% in 2010 to 22% in 2013. Impressive!
Our goal for this year is to 1) keep this positive trend going, 2) increase our recycling rate to 25%, and 3) reduce our overall generation of waste. So, while recycling is important, we are also placing emphasis on less overall consumption and more reusing of unwanted items.
Here are a few easy ways you can reduce waste and participate in RecycleMania:
- Recycle all paper, newspapers, magazines, and pizza boxes in the proper “paper” recycling bins throughout campus.
- Recycle all metals, glass, and plastics in the proper “bottles/cans” recycling bins throughout campus.
- Use refillable mugs and cups instead of one-time-use throw-away ones.
- Print double-sided to save twice the amount of paper.
- Always recycle batteries and small electronic waste in one of our 16 eWaste recycling stations around campus.
- Join GateSwap to trade, sell, or buy personal items you no longer want or need.
- Trade office supplies with others on campus through our FREE Office Swap program.
- Look over Colgate’s Guide to Recycling for a refresher on what can (and cannot) be recycled at Colgate.
- Subscribe to our blog, like our facebook page, or follow our twitter feed for the latest updates on this year’s RecycleMania competition.
Last but certainly not least, encourage your colleagues and friends to reduce, reuse, and recycle over the next eight weeks. Together we can make it to 25% and be one of the greenest campuses in America!