By Leigh Robertson
Furman is nationally recognized for being a leader among sustainable college campuses, and this year we are trying to up the ante even further. While this is already a university that takes part in composting and recycling, an upcoming event called Recyclemania encourages Furman students to really crack down on getting those recyclables where they need to be. Recyclemania is a ten-year-old competition in which American institutions of higher education participate. It is rapidly gaining popularity with each annual occurrence.
Essentially, Recyclemania is a tally of a college’s recycling over the two month duration of the competition from Feb. 3 to Mar. 30, everything is tracked and the data is entered into an online system once a week. During this time, every little bit counts because all of the recyclables and reusables are included in that data. The winner is determined by total weight.
Emma Poppante, Recyclemania coordinator, said that “it’s important to be educated about what you can recycle here on campus.”
For example, glass is not recyclable at Furman. In addition only plastics numbered one and two can be recycled.
“There is an important aspect of community involvement and awareness that Recylemania wants to promote,” Poppante said.
She also encouraged students to spend some time looking around and seeing whether some things could be recyclable that may not be obvious.
This is the second year that Furman has truly involved the whole campus, and Poppante hopes for an impressive turnout. She explained that “people are pretty consistent with their recycling,” but “we are hoping to see a slight bump because of the publicity this year.”
Last year, Furman placed third per capita, which is impressive. Poppante hopes that with a little extra awareness and more involvement, Furman could really make a mark in the Recyclemania competition this year. A first or second placing would get the university recognition as an even more eco-friendly school.
Poppante said that “we are really into sustainability, our students are really smart, and I believe we could make this happen if we really wanted to.”
“After the competition we want people to still care just that little bit more about recycling,” she said.
Hopefully this opportunity to recycle and compete with other schools while doing it will accomplish that.
Anyone interested in volunteering for this project should contact Emma at firstname.lastname@example.org.