College takes part in national recycling competition

In January, for the first time, Bates College joined more than 200 colleges and universities across the United States in RecycleMania, a 10-week recycling and waste minimization competition.

For more information, please contact Julie Rosenbach, Bates’ environmental coordinator, at this

RecycleMania at Bates started on Jan. 31 with a “Wheel of Fortune” environmental trivia game in the dining Commons. With designated recycling bins in every building, student volunteers are meeting twice a week to collect recyclables on campus and determine their weight on a per capita basis. A scoreboard in the college’s dining Commons displays Bates’ recycling rate vs. those of Colby and Bowdoin colleges.

Student outreach teams are using posters, banners, a recycling pledge drive and fun events to build support for recycling and the contest.

In mid-March, Commons hosts the first annual “Trashion Show,” in which students will make costumes from recyclables to show off their creativity and propensity for recycling. Later in March, a trash bin “dump and sort” event is scheduled to demonstrate how many recyclables are thrown away. Finally, RecycleMania is sponsoring an intramural indoor soccer team.

RecycleMania began in 2001 as a competition between Miami University in Ohio and Ohio University. The competition spread gradually until 2004, when the Environmental Protection Agency, National Recycling Coalition and National Wildlife Federation partnered with RecycleMania to expand the competition nationwide.

In 2006, 93 schools recycled more than 17 million pounds of paper, cans, plastics and cardboard.

This year the competition has taken off nationally. In Maine, other participating schools include the universities of Southern Maine, Maine at Farmington and the flagship UMaine campus in Orono.

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