by Roger Coda
SUNY Fredonia will look to retain its lock on the top spot among SUNY schools, and raise its standing among colleges and universities across the country, in RecycleMania, the annual competition that promotes waste reduction activities in campus communities.
“I think recycling has become part of everyday life for people. We see an increase year after year in the amount of recycling,” said Kevin Cloos, director of Facilities Services and a member of the campus Sustainability Committee, which leads the RecycleMania campaign here. “It’s become more mainstream for people.”
SUNY Fredonia is once again entered in the per-capita classic division, which challenges schools to produce the least amount of waste and recycle the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. In all, 10 SUNY comprehensive schools – up from seven that completed the program in 2011 – are competing for top per capita honors.
“We look to stay number one. We hope to build on the success of last year and remain number one among SUNY schools in that division,” Cloos said. SUNY Fredonia has been a top performer in all four years that it’s participated in the campaign, now in its 12th year.
Efforts to facilitate recycling have been made at SUNY Fredonia in recent years. Recycling stations -- offering single-stream collection of paper, glass, plastic and metal, along with separate bins for trash and deposit bottles and cans – are situated in high-traffic areas throughout the campus.
That number of recycling stations – now more than 100 -- will grow to keep up with campus growth. “We are looking to increase their numbers near entrances of buildings and also at the new townhouses and the new science center when those open,” Cloos added.
Casella Waste Services in Dunkirk serves as SUNY Fredonia’s key RecycleMania partner during the campaign and throughout the year.
RecycleMania, which concludes March 30, runs parallel with the NCAA basketball tournament. Each week, participating campuses submit weekly totals -- in pounds -- for paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, food waste and general trash. And each week, schools can see how they “stack up” to other campuses in nine RecycleMania categories at the RecycleMania website (www.recyclemaniacs.org). A new category for electronics has been added.
At the end of the 2011 campaign, SUNY Fredonia was ranked 71st among 363 schools in the per capita classic division, representing a hefty improvement from its 106th position in 2010.
In 2011, more than 600 participating colleges and universities in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five Canadian provinces, representing 5.1 million students and 1.1 million staff, collected more than 91 million pounds of recyclables and compostable organics. This prevented the release of 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere.
New York State is tied with Massachusetts with 41 participating schools; only Pennsylvania, with 43, has more.
RecycleMania, which began as a friendly challenge between Miami University of Ohio and Ohio University, has sponsorship support from Alcoa, the Coca-Cola Company, SCA Tissue, Waste Management, the American Forest & Paper Association and HP. Additional support has been provided by the EPA’s WasteWise program and the College and University Recycling Coalition.
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