UM Competes To See Who's Greenest
The University of Maryland will be "recycle central" over the next few months, as it takes part in a nation-wide competition with 199 other colleges and universities to see who can recycle the most. "Recyclemania" as it's called, runs from January 28 through April 1.
A state law - the Maryland Recycling Act - requires all counties and state units - including the University of Maryland - to recycle. Since its enactment in 1998, more than 1,000,000 tons of trash have been recycled throughout Maryland each year. The university has been working hard on its own recycling program - which stands at 20% and rising. "The University of Maryland has placed a high priority on recycling over the past few years," says Student Affairs Vice President Linda Clement. She says that while Maryland has made good progress, entering the Recyclemania contest will help "maintain and enhance this upward trend." Of course it helps that a number of rival ACC schools are also in the contest. "From paper to bottles and from cardboard to cans, let's trash the Blue Devils, Tar Heels, and Cavaliers!" says University Relations Vice President Remington Brodie with a smile.
The winner of Recyclemania takes home no prize other than bragging rights. Last year, Oregon State University took first place by recycling 91 pounds per person. The top ACC school was Miami, that recorded 80 pounds per person.
The University of Maryland's efforts at recycling go way beyond just paper, plasic and bottles. Terrapin Trader is a regional effort to recycle virtually everything from automobiles to desks, computers to surplus scientific equipment. Many other colleges and universities in the Washington, D.C. area use Terrapin Trader to recycle their surplus matierals. See a 2005 Newsdesk feature about Terrapin Trader.
This past year, the university also worked with Apple and the City of College Park to hold a major recycling event on campus. Tons of electronic equipment were turned in over a two day period next to the university recycling center.
How Recyclemania Works
Each week, the university reports its recyclables and waste weights. Recyclemania calculates Maryland's standing in the competition relative to the university's enrollment, resident student population and number of staff. Weekly ratings will be publicized to the Maryland community throughout the competition at www.environment.umd.edu/recycle and through other locations on campus.
The competition at Maryland is sponsored by the Student Affairs Environment Committee, Facilities Management, and the Maryland Parents Association. It's been endorsed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise Program, the National Wildlife Federation's Campus Ecology Program and the National Recycling Coalition's College and University Recycling Council.
February 10, 2007