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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Recycling Movement at Stony Brook

    Feb. 28 – While distributing pins printed with soy based ink on entirely recycled paper, Francesa Calarco and Angelica Whitehorne spoke to students in the Stony Brook Union about the importance of waste minimization and recycling.

    “Instead of using paper cups from the [Student Activities Center] to hold your coffee, use a mug. It reduces the amount of paper cups used and, as a result, is very sustainable and environmentally friendly,” said Calarco.

    Both Calarco and Whitehorne are outreach coordinators for Recyclemania, a nation-wide competition with the intention of getting college campuses to recycle more and minimize their waste.

    SBU isn’t missing out. The University is participating in Recyclemania for the second year in a row, competing in three categories against nearly 400 other universities.

    The first category is waste minimization, in which universities compete to see which produces the least amount of trash per person. This figure includes both recyclables and trash.

    Another category is “gorilla”, in which a prize is awarded to the university that recycles the most in weight, regardless of campus population.

    The grand champion prize is awarded to the campus that sees the largest increase in recycling relative to the largest decrease in trash produced.

    According to figures available on Recyclemania’s website, last week SBU recycled 63, 240 pounds of paper, cans and plastic bottles. This was a noticeable increase from the same week last year when the University recycled 56,740 pounds of acceptable materials.

    Organizers of the event said they believe it is the inter-quad competitions that are spurring the increase in recycling this year. Every quad on campus is competing for a large sum of money that goes towards the funding of quad renovations, maintenance and student activities. The quad that recycles the most takes home the prize.

    But every student can participate as well. Acceptable materials in any recycle bin on campus contribute to SBU’s collection.

    At the end of each week, the Department of Recycling and Resource Management at SBU collects all the recycling bins on campus, excluding those at the Hospital, and tallies how much each quad and dining hall has recycled.

    The Environmental Club here at Stony Brook is also playing their part. Members are going door-to-door to provide students with information about Recyclemania and recycling, too.

    Michelle Pizer, president of the Environmental Club said, “A lot of people don’t recycle and if they do many don’t do it properly. I feel like this competition has the potential to make recycling an instinct for people.”

    Michael Youdelman, who works for the Department of Recycling and Resource Management here at SBU, said that this competition is all about environmental sustainability and getting students into the habit of recycling.

    Youdelman said that recycling is still second nature to most people and he said he felt that this competition is a way to get students set in the habit of recycling. He also stressed that environmental sustainability is crucially important at a time when, according to him, global warming is imminent.

    “If you want to be blunt about it we need clean water, clean air and clean land. Global warming is here, [and] a large majority of scientists agree. This is about reducing Stony Brook’s environmental footprint on the world,” he said.

    Whitehorne agreed. She felt that many do not consider that their actions impact the environment, and she hoped to defeat the apathy many students feel towards recycling and environmental initiatives. “One person can absolutely make a difference,” she said. “No act is too small.”

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