The 10-week recycling effort known as RecycleMania culminated with a ninth-place finish for UC Davis, out of over 400 schools in the partial campus division.
Schools were judged based on both reduction of waste, as well as the per capita poundage of recyclables that they were able to divert. California State University San Marcos took first place for the fourth year in a row with a 73.69 percent recycling rate.
UCD finished higher than in any of the previous four years of participation and came in first among the UC schools. The campus achieved a 38.83 percent recycling rate, a 13 percent increase from 2007 and recycled 139,993 pounds among the 4,503 students in residential housing, according to data found on the RecycleMania website.
R4 recycling staff assistant and sophomore physics major Cole Giovannoni Wippern said he was pleased with the result.
“We’ve made a steady improvement over the last four years that we’ve been doing this competition,” he said. “This year, we made a drastic jump, all the way from 27th place to ninth.”
Recycling was counted from Jan. 29 to Apr. 5 throughout student housing and in the dining commons. This put UCD in the partial campus category, Wippern said.
“We don’t currently have the implementation for an entire campus right now, so we specifically measured out waste from student housing areas,” he said.
R4 recycling was still targeting a great deal of the problem though, because up to 70 percent of campus waste comes from the dining commons.
“[In addition to tabling and putting up a video on youtube.com we work directly with student housing and had some posters and flyers designed and put on display in the DC and other student housing areas,” Wippern said.
R4 also got in touch with resident advisers and encouraged them to get their students involved.
Sophomore Jason Lai is an RA who urged his residents to get involved.
“It [the competition format] was a great way to show them that recycling does pay off,” he said. “A contest with other colleges got some of them fired up, knowing they were a part of the greater UCD community competing against other schools was enough incentive for them to be sure their waste got recycled.”
The ninth-place finish out of more than 400 teams is also spectacular because the competition favors smaller schools since it is easier to get a greater percentage with a smaller student population. Wippern said the reason UCD was able to have success is because it is already so conscious of the issue.
“Even if we hadn’t done any promotion, we probably still would have done decently well, because there are programs in place and a general idea and push towards recycling on the Davis campus,” he said. “From what we’ve noticed, a little promotion push helps just to remind people and get them motivated.”
More information and statistics about the competition, UC Davis, and other schools involved can be found at recyclemaniacs.org/index.htm.
MIKE DORSEY can be reached at email@example.com.XXX