Erskine College is participating in “RecycleMania,” an eight-week program running through March 30 designed to promote recycling on college campuses.
During this friendly competition, colleges across the United States and Canada report the amounts of recycling and trash collected each week and are ranked in such categories as recycling the most per capita; recycling rate as a percentage of total waste; and generating the least amount of combined trash and recycling.
Rankings are updated weekly, and participating schools use the results to encourage their campus communities to reduce waste and recycle more.
Among colleges and universities in South Carolina, Erskine placed third overall last year, behind Furman and Clemson.
Juniors Jana Dixon of Conyers, Ga., a political science major with a minor in business, and Carly McCalla of Greenwood, a double major in political science and biology, serve as Erskine’s Sustainability Stewards.
“In order for us to promote sustainability on our campus we need to make our student body and our peers more aware,” Dixon said. “This is what we hope that our program can accomplish.”
McCalla reported on a highly visible effort that began recently. “Our main initiative this year to increase our recycling rate has been to distribute the new red recycling bins that we received from a Coca Cola grant,” she said.
Also involved with Recyclemania is senior Kevin Ussery of York, a marketing intern with Aramark, the company providing Erskine’s dining, facilities, and grounds services. “I’m happy that we’re able to bring new life to this program,” he said. “I hope we can increase sustainability in Erskine’s community.”
Some of the campus organizations participating in RecycleMania include the American Chemical Society (student affiliate branch); the biological honor society Beta Beta Beta (sometimes known as Tri Beta) and Enactus Erskine (formerly Erskine Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE).
Facilities Director Jim Shealy of Aramark noted that paper, cardboard, plastic, aluminum and food waste are recycled at Erskine.
Erskine’s recycling rate for the RecycleMania competition in 2011 was 26 percent, and rose to 30 percent for the 2012 competition. The goal for 2013 is 35 percent.
Upcoming RecycleMania events include a promotion Tuesday, March 5, in Moffatt Dining Hall from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and a Sustainability Fair Wednesday, April 17, in Watkins Student Center from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Sustainability Fair is sponsored by vendors and student organizations. Its purpose is to promote sustainability and advertise sustainability efforts being implemented on campus.
For more information on sustainability efforts at Erskine check out The Sustainability Stewards on Facebook and ECGoesGreen on Twitter.