Spring comes up green as SMU competes in RecycleMania 2011

SMU RecycleMania imageEveryone’s trash – in the form of paper, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and cardboard – will be SMU’s treasure during RecycleMania 2011, now running through April 2.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities in their campus communities.

SMU will collect and track recycling materials throughout the 10-week competition involving hundreds of colleges and universities throughout the nation. That data will then be ranked according to the largest amount of recyclables per capita, largest amount of total recyclables and highest recycling rate.

How can those on the SMU campus help the University rise in the RecycleMania ranks? It’s simple: Sort things out.

“It’s especially important that we place anything that can be recycled [other than corrugated cardboard] either in blue bins or trash cans lined with clear bags,” says Eric English, SMU’s environmental manager. The University’s ranking in the competition goes higher the more the bins are used.

“Corrugated cardboard is an exception: It should be collected by each building’s custodians, who will help get it compacted or baled. Traditional garbage should go in a trash bin’s black bag,” English added.

Last year, SMU collected 77.59 tons of recycled material and placed 5th out of 21 competing Texas universities in the Per Capita Classic division (ahead of Rice, Baylor, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston, the University of North Texas and Texas A&M). Overall, SMU finished 107 out of 346 schools in the Per Capita Classic Single-Stream (paper, cans and bottles) division and 151 out of 231 in the Targeted Materials (corrugated cardboard) division.

“SMU is known for its commitment to excellence,” English says. “This is one way to prove what we can do on the sustainability front.”

To learn more about or volunteer for SMU recycle programs, sustainability initiatives and how RecycleMania works, contact English at 214-768-2163 or by e-mail.

> Find more information at the RecycleMania site
> Visit the SMU Sustainability Committee online
> Learn more about SMU’s recycling programs