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RecycleMania has kicked off

Jan. 29, 2010

By Hogan Allcorn
Reporter

The Baylor Sustainability Committee is looking for some healthy competition for Baylor in the 2010 "RecycleMania" competition, which began earlier this month.

RecycleMania is a recycling competition among colleges and universities that has occurred annually since 2001. The original competition included only Miami University and Ohio University. Now, RecycleMania includes more than 600 schools in the U.S., Canada and Qatar. RecycleMania is a project of the College and University Recycling Council and was launched to promote recycling on a large scale.

"It's hard to make significant contributions to the green movement individually," Alec Cooley, program manager of RecycleMania headquareters, said. "RecycleMania is the most tangible way that college campuses can make significant concrete changes to the environment. Most schools already have recycling programs. Our program improves those recycling programs by uniting more and more campuses each year in the spirit of competition."

Amarillo junior Emily Saultz serves as a representative on the Baylor Sustainability Committee and looks forward to the competition.

"RecycleMania is a fun way to bring attention to environmental issues at Baylor," she said.

RecycleMania started Jan. 17 and ends on March 27. Students can contribute to the competition by simply recycling materials in any of the appropriate recycling bins and trash containers on campus. Baylor Grounds Services Manager Andy Trimble then collects the materials, delivers the materials to Sunbright Paper Recycling and tallies and reports the total weight.

"We (Baylor Grounds Services) also help anyone on campus when they need assistance with getting the larger recycling items such as books and the like to the right place," Trimble said.

Last year Baylor finished third in the Big 12, falling short of the University of Colorado and the University of Missouri, which won first and second respectively. Over the 10-week competition, Baylor recycled 183,865 pounds of combined paper, cardboard, bottles and cans.

Smith Getterman, Baylor alumnus, has served as the first official Baylor Sustainability Committee coordinator since June and is excited to participate in RecycleMania for his first time.

"Our committee encourages Baylor students, faculty and staff to recycle, recycle, recycle all of the time," Getterman said. "We especially encourage recycling during this time because we are not only in a competition with other schools but also with ourselves. Each year we want to beat our previous amount of recycling to show that we are making progress toward a healthier environment," Getterman said.

In the first week of the competition this year, Baylor recycled 16,500 pounds, which is 320 pounds less than the first week last year.

Getterman said in addition to the green movement, RecycleMania and the Baylor Sustainability Committee go hand-in-hand with Baylor's role as a Christian institution.

"The Baylor Sustainability Committee's purpose doesn't have political or business intentions," Getterman said. "We don't care if you are right, left or middle. Our calling to go green lies in the heart of our faith. God did not give the earth to us to use and abuse. We are tools for God's purpose and are only here temporarily. We need to take care of the resources He gave us."

More information on RecycleMania and how to better the environment can be found at www.recyclemania.org or www.baylor.edu/sustainability.