The Triangle - The Independent Student Newspaper at Drexel University

RecycleMania competition promotes green initiatives

Drexel Green’s RecycleMania collection events, held this month on Drexel’s three Philadelphia campuses, have collected 14 64-gallon totes of paper and over 13 skids of electronics as part of the nationwide university recycling tournament.

RecycleMania is an annual competition that promotes recycling programs and waste reduction activities on the campuses of over 600 colleges and universities in the U.S. and Canada. Amounts of recycling and trash collected are reported and ranked for eight consecutive weeks to determine which schools reduced and recycled the most waste during this time period on a per-capita basis.

Four totes of paper and three skids of electronic equipment were collected at the main campus event that took place March 12 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the 3300 block of Race Street, and even more recyclables have been specially arranged to be picked up from various departments on the main campus.

RecycleMania collections of electronic equipment and paper (for collection and shredding) were also held at the Queen Lane Medical Campus Feb. 13 and the Center City Hahnemann Campus in front of the Bellet Building Feb. 27.

“Down at Bellet we had a huge outpouring of equipment. … We filled seven skids,” Kyle Kephart, director of quality services operations for Drexel Student Life and Administrative Services, which works with the operations side of Drexel Green, said.

According to Kephart, Drexel Green’s main goal in sponsoring RecycleMania is to market Drexel’s recycling program and let people know that the University does care about these initiatives. Drexel Green T-shirts, water bottles, Rubik’s Cubes and pamphlets were given out at the events, and minor refreshments were served.

Drexel Sierra Student Coalition worked in cooperation with Drexel Green to help advertise and promote RecycleMania.

“Awareness is our key mission, and through large-scale campaigns like RecycleMania, Drexel Green and student activists are able to reach students at our multiple campuses,” Melanie Jeske, vice president of Drexel Sierra Student Coalition, member of Drexel Green’s Sustainability Council and a sophomore majoring in environmental studies and economics, said.

Drexel is in its fifth year participating in RecycleMania. Last year it finished 92nd out of 288 schools nationally and fifth out of the 23 Pennsylvania schools involved.

“I’d say this year, in a couple categories, we’re doing a little better,” Kephart said. “A couple are very similar to [past] results so far. Hopefully some of the events might up our numbers as we go a little further into the competition.”

Drexel is currently ranked 76th out of 605 schools and has conserved enough energy to potentially power 26 households, according to results from the first four weeks of the eight-week competition, found on RecycleMania’s website, recyclemaniacs.org. Final results of the 2012 RecycleMania tournament will be published April 13 on the website.

Students can still participate in RecycleMania by utilizing the recycling receptacles located on campus. These recycled items will count toward Drexel’s participation in the tournament until it officially ends March 31. Any students who would also like to recycle electronic equipment before then should email recycle@drexel.edu to arrange a pickup.