RecycleMania 2012 kick-off

GALE WHITEHEAD / RecycleMania Co-Program Coordinator Caitlin Zera, talks to student about the competition and the impact recycling can have.

Starting RecycleMania 2012, I will make the effort to: Learn about recycling options and resources in my community. Reduce my personal waste by using less, reusing more, and recycling as much as possible.
Thirty-nine students signed the pledge on Monday, Feb. 6, in Marletto’s as part of RecycleMania 2012. RecyleMania is a competition in the U.S. and Canada between colleges and universities to promote campus-wide recycling efforts.
“One of the goals for us is that people can learn that it’s not just office paper that you can recycle, or a plastic bottle,” RecycleMania Co-Program Coordinator Caitlin Zera said. “There are actually a lot of things that you can recycle.”
This is the second year Webster has been involved in RecyleMania, which spans from Feb. 5 to March 31. Last year, Webster entered the competition on a benchmark level, not to compete but to observe the recycling efforts on campus and promote the cause. This year, though, Webster is competing against nine other Missouri schools including UMKC and SLU, as well as colleges across the country and Canada.
Because Webster is a smaller school, recycling coordinator Geoff Janovsky said he just wants, “to see us improve our practices.” Zera agreed, saying she is excited not to beat other schools, but to increase awareness of recycling on campus.
“We thought RecycleMania would be a really great time to highlight the recycling program in general, and not necessarily be really competitive,” Zera said. “It’s just a really good time to make people aware of recycling habits and things you might not know about the program.”
During the competition, members of Facilities will be monitoring the amount of waste in recycling bins and trashcans. Webster’s waste facilitator, Waste Management, will then record the amounts at pickup. The goal is to reduce trash waste and increase recycling in the blue bins throughout campus.
“It’s something we do to bring attention to the students and campus that we want to be as involved as possible in sustainability,” Grounds Coordinator Bruce Francis said.
With sustainability efforts growing on campus, Zera said she hopes RecyleMania will help students and faculty develop good habits that will continue after the competition is over.
“My dream is that people will have the mentality that if they have something to discard they will first ask themselves if they can recycle it instead of just not thinking and throwing it away,” Zera said. “That’s a really positive attitude to have and a lot more stuff can get recycled that way.”
As the competition progresses, Facilities will be posting signs and posters recording the progress made, how much was recycled and how much was thrown away. Facilities will also be providing information on recycling, such as guidelines for recycling and a complete list of recyclable materials.
“It’s just another outlet for this sustainability culture that we’ve created,” Janovsky said. “We are defining our culture today.”
Zera will set up in Marletto’s again on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for students to sign the pledge. Everyone who signs up will receive a recycling pin and be entered in a raffle to win prizes from Plowsharing Crafts.

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