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L&C Kicks Off its 2014 RecycleMania Recycling Competition

Article by: Louise Jett, ljett@lc.edu
GODFREY – Lewis and Clark Community College has successfully kicked off its participation in the 2014 RecycleMania tournament, the national competition in which college campuses compete over the course of eight weeks to see which institution can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste.

“Recycling reduces costs by cutting waste,” said L&C Student Sustainability Association President Johan Bester. “It’s all about economics really. The more we can reduce, recycle and reuse, the more we can save. The more we save and conserve, the more we’ll be able to do with our funding and resources. As a community at Lewis and Clark, we’re already recycling a good deal. The Student Sustainability Association will be sharing valuable info on how to recycle more, smarter and better.”

L&C is currently encouraging students and community members to sign a pledge to recycle. The pledge drive will run until Feb. 17. Throughout RecycleMania the SSA will host a sign-up table at various places on campus where students and faculty can sign the pledge. Pledges can also be made online at www.americarecyclesday.org/pledge/ or by texting “Recycle pledge Lewis and Clark Community College” to the number 91011. Message and data rates may apply.

“Research shows that making a commitment can have a positive impact on building motivation and enforcing a habit that leads to lasting changes in behavior,” Bester said. “To this end, we invite students, staff and faculty to make a commitment to recycle more.”

From Feb. 17–March 7, Student Sustainability Association members will conduct a “Caught Green-Handed” campaign. During this time, random L&C students who are seen recycling or engaging in other green behavior will be stopped and rewarded with a prize. In addition, those students will be entered in a raffle for a green gift basket.

L&C students will have the opportunity to compete in an Olympic-style game played with only recyclable materials during the ReGames portion of RecyleMania. Winners will receive a prize and also be entered into the raffle for the green gift basket. 

“As a reward for participating in the greening of our campus, students, staff, and faculty can enter the Great Green Raffle from February until Earth Week in April at any of the SSA pledge-events on campus,” Bester said. “The prize, the Great Green Gift Basket, will be stuffed with some eats, treats, green goodies and a surprise prize.”

In addition to L&C, hundreds of schools and millions of students, faculty, and staff will be participating across the U.S. and Canada. Schools compete in 11 categories to see which recycles the most on a per capita basis, which produces the least amount of waste, and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. The competition runs through March 30.

Updated rankings published online each Friday allow schools to track their progress and rally to improve their standings against rival colleges.

“RecycleMania is a great opportunity to teach people about the many recycling opportunities we have here on campus, especially since we’ve added so many new programs in the last couple years,” said Director of Sustainability Nate Keener. “In addition to the simple single stream program we have implemented, we also have a few additional programs for collecting and recycling some of the more tricky items out there like printer cartridges, batteries and writing utensils.

“Over the next two months, we’ll be working with campus students, faculty and staff to spread the word that this is a competition amongst colleges all over the country, but also against such local rivals as SWIC and SIUE,” Keener said. “This is a great chance to show school spirit and help the environment at the same time.”

RecycleMania is an independent program of the RecycleMania Steering Committee. The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of SCA Tissue, The Coca-Cola Company, Alcoa Foundation, Keep America Beautiful and the American Forest & Paper Association. Program management is provided by Keep America Beautiful with additional program support from the US EPA’s WasteWise program and the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC).

To learn more about L&C’s green initiatives, visit www.lc.edu/green. Those wanting more information about RecyleMania can contact Keener at (618) 468-2782 or nkeener@lc.edu.