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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Gearing Up For Recyclemania 2009

    Stony Brook University has seen its fair share of athletic and academically challenging competitions, but next semester, a different type of competition will be fought. It’s one that the university will be participating in for the third year, a ten-week crusade for recycling called Recyclemania.

    This year, Recyclemania organizers projected about 800 colleges and universities will join together in their fight not only against each other, but also against damage to the environment.

    The competition requires that everyone on campus band together to gather the largest amount of recycled goods.

    “This is an opportunity to bring focus to sustainability and recycling, and help encourage students to participate in environmental stewardship,” said Michael Youdelman, manager of the Department of Recycling and Resource Management at Stony Brook.

    The Waste Minimization branch of the competition, in which Stony Brook will be competing, requires the winner to have the lowest amount of municipal solid waste as compared to other schools.

    This part of the competition is “the most complex of the three [aspects of competition],” according to Recyclemania’s official website.

    The winner of this branch of the competition will be awarded a bowling-pin trophy, which is fashioned from weathered goods — a manifestation of the nature of the contest.

    For the first time, Stony Brook has registered the entire campus, including the University Medical Center, the Long Island State Veteran’s Home, Stony Brook Southampton and the research centers.

    “Since we are including the hospital and other areas, we know beforehand that the overall solid waste generation for the campus will increase significantly, and therefore lower our overall recycling percentages,” Youdelman said. “We look at this as a challenge, whereby we will all need to do our part to help improve our recycling and waste minimization efforts.”

    One factor that may help the school succeed is that the first two weeks of the competition act as a trial period, and will not count in the final results. This is intended to help all schools transition into the competition.

    Besides the national competition, Stony Brook will be hosting its own internal competition between residence halls on both the main and Southampton campuses, which is similar to the national contest in its recognition of the group that collects the largest amount of recycled goods.

    The Department of Recycling and Resource Management on campus and promoters of the event hope that it will spur a fun competition between friends while raising the school’s total score.

    In last year’s competition, Stony Brook recycled 58.6 million pounds — a large increase from previous years.

    Better technology and the education of participating schools’ students make it likely that this year’s total will be even higher.

    Additionally, whatever is recycled throughout the competition is kept out of landfills as waste, and therefore could save natural resources. The competition will hopefully push more students and campus community members to keep recycling after the competition ends.

    To celebrate the commencement of Recyclemania, a kickoff event will be held on Jan. 28, 2009 in the Student Activities Center lobby during Campus Lifetime.

    It will be complete with music, teaching demonstrations about recycling and other activities.

    Students only have to recycle used cans, bottles and paper in one of the many designated recycling bins that can be found on campus to participate in Recyclemania.

    The competition will run from Jan. 18, 2009 to Mar. 28, 2009.

    This competition is about “work[ing] with various parts of the community to embrace recycling and bring our efforts higher, thereby helping to save money by cost avoidance and reducing the carbon footprint of all involved,” Youdelman said.

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