Recyclemania, a nationwide competition among 100 universities, kicked off on Sunday, running until Mar. 27.
During the competition universities strive to collect as much recyclables as they can during the allotted time period. The more a university collects, the higher they will be ranked.
The first two weeks are a trial period in order for participants to prepare for the competition as well as to develop their strategies. Items recycled during this period do not count toward the overall standings. The competition will officially begin Feb. 1.
UC Davis has been participating in Recyclemania since its start in 2004, but this is the first year in which the whole campus will be involved. In prior years, only the residence halls hosted recycling competitions.
UC Davis, which has been a past participant (ranked eighth last year with an average recycling rate of 39.59 percent) will be taking an even more active role this year by encouraging more students and faculty to recycle and reduce waste, and educating more people about the benefits of recycling.
“The whole purpose for Recyclemania is to encourage people to recycle and compost more, educate them on how to recycle and take action on their campus to reduce waste, and to show people how their efforts make a difference for their campus and community,” said Maddison Greaves, a coordinator for the competition on Davis’ campus as well as a member of UC Davis’ R4 Recycling Program.
The Davis campus aims to do more to help the environment than just participating in this competition. UC Davis has developed the goal of producing zero waste by 2020, which means all waste by that time will either have become recyclable or able to put into compost.
“Recyclemania provides UC Davis with an excellent opportunity to display our leadership in sustainability,” said Eric Wulfemeyer, the event coordinator for Recylemania and a member of R4. “We pride ourselves on being stewards of the environment, promoting innovative research in conservation biology and other environmental areas,” he said.
Student and faculty participation is easy, organizers say. They simply have to make sure they recycle their bottles, cans, glass paper and anything else that can be reused. This year UC Davis is hoping to beat everyone by achieving first place through the cooperation of the entire campus.
“Stanford ranked first in total volume of recyclables last year, which provides UC Davis an incentive to recycle as much as ecologically possible to defeat the Cardinal,” Wulfemeyer said.
In the coming days one should expect to see flyers and promotions advertising the competition to be shown everywhere on campus.
Those interested in the competition can contact the R4 office at 752-7456 or visit the website at recyclemaniacs.org.
“It’s go green or go home,” Wulfemeyer said.
CORY BULLIS can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.