For immediate release
May 16, 2005
SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. - At Mount Holyoke College, garbage in is not always garbage out. Competing in the fifth annual nationwide RecycleMania, Mount Holyoke placed seventh out of 34 colleges and universities participating in the Per Capita Classic, a contest measuring the amount of recyclables collected per capita at the school over a ten week period. Mount Holyoke beat the likes of Harvard, Yale, MIT, and Dartmouth in the per capita competition. This was Mount Holyoke's first year competing in the event, and the College is very pleased with the result.
RecycleMania is an intercollegiate competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's WasteWise Program. The event's primary goal is to increase student awareness of campus recycling. RecycleMania offers quantifiable proof that all participating campuses have made achievements in recycling and waste reduction. The competition involved 198,000 students and resulted in the recycling 10.4 million pounds of materials.
"The student volunteers did a great job collecting the data, no small feat with 17 residence halls, and educating their peers," said Nancy Apple, MHC's director of safety and environmental affairs. "We increased our recycling from residence halls by 52.4% over the ten weeks, with the final competition total at 44.88 lbs per student. Prospect Hall and Pearsons Annex tied for first place." Students in the winning halls received a coupon for a treat at Uncommon Grounds.
Mount Holyoke's residence halls each were responsible for collecting, sorting, and weighing recyclable materials. The EPA kept a running tally of each school's recyclables. At the final count, defending champion Miami University of Ohio won over the 34 institutions competing in the Per Capita Classic, while California State University San Marcos prevailed among the 47 institutions competing in the Recycling Rate competition, a measure of the campuses' overall recycling percentage.
Kelly Ferguson, the South Quad Eco-Representative, was one of the many Mount Holyoke students who helped plan and carry out this event. "It took a lot of planning to figure out the logistics of how to measure and how to record recycling rates." she commented. "I think we were all a little unsure of how it would work, but it all came together so well." Ferguson also said that, "I don't think that anyone had expected us to reach the top ten in our first year. Hopefully the impact of the program will become even greater in the years to come."
More information about the RecycleMania competition can be found at www.recyclemania.com.