By Jenny Edengard
LIU Post is participating in RecycleMania for a fourth time this semester. The competition, which runs from Feb. 1 to March 28, is among colleges of equal size competing in waste reduction activities. This year, approximately 400 schools from 47 states and one Canadian province have registered for the competition, which is divided into four categories; Recycle, Reuse, Reduce and Zero Waste.
For eight consecutive weeks, colleges across the United States and Canada will be ranked by RecycleMania, a non-profit organization, according to their weekly reports on the school’s amount of recycling and trash collected. The schools will be ranked according to which one recycles the most per capita, and the best recycling rate based on their total waste percentage.
The competition will last for two weeks. Recycle, the first category focuses on recycling cans, bottles, paper and compost, and started on Sunday, Feb. 1; it ends on Saturday, Feb. 14. The second category, Reuse, focuses on reusing items such as water bottles, and travel mugs. It will start on Sunday, Feb. 15 and end on Feb.28. The third category, Reduce, focuses on waste prevention such as using double sided printing, and starts on March 1 and ends on March 14. The fourth category, Zero Waste, focuses on a holistic understanding of conserving resources and reducing waste, based on the other three categories. It will start on March 15 and end on March 28.
The Sustainability Committee at LIU Post encourages students to participate in the competition by reporting their recycling activities. Post students are encouraged to take a selfie while doing a waste reduction action. Submit your selfie as a tweet, and make sure to use unique keywords such as “recycle”, “reduce” or “reuse,” related to the action in your selfie, and include three hashtags, #WeAreGreen, #RM2015 and #WeAreLIUPost. Selfies should be submitted to @RecycleManiacs or texted to 21212. By using the three hastags, Post gets points for their students’ actions. Another way to submit is to download and use the free Mobile App myActions.
There is no limit to how many actions students can submit, and the more submissions each school has collected using the hashtags connected to their school, the more points the school earns. Any recognized waste reduction action students contribute from Feb. 1 till March 28 will earn a point regardless of the category. For example, a student posting a selfie of themselves with a reusable mug will earn a point for their school during the entire eight-week period.
All schools enter each category with zero points, and earn one point for every reported action. Every two weeks, scores for each category are counted individually. On the website recyclemania.org, the total points each school has throughout the two-week period are displayed, and then start over when the next category starts. The winners of each category are based on total actions reported from students at each of the colleges that are participating. Then, the overall winners will be calculated based on the total of all four categories for their population group. Winners will be announced by the RecycleMania Committee in mid-April, and will receive a national RecycleMania championship title and an accompanying award.
In 2014, LIU Post finished in 192nd place out of 256 schools in their division, recycling 47,580 pounds of materials. A total of 460 schools competed last year.
Rachel Hass, a junior Design major, is excited about the event. “I think it’s a wonderful idea and I hope we win. Recycling is already pretty big at our school and it would be great to increase it even more, and put more emphasis on using reusable water bottles instead of buying new ones,” Hass said.
The LIU Post Sustainability Committee, which is overseeing the RecycleMania contest on campus, was established in 2010. It consists of administrators, faculty, and students with one goal in mind: to make LIU Post a more sustainable place. The committee welcomes input from everybody on campus, and its meetings are open to everyone.
The next scheduled meeting will be held on March 4, in Hillwood 115 at 12:30 p.m. The Sustainability Committee can be found on Twitter @LIUPostGreen, on the Facebook group LIUPostGreen, on Instagram @ LIUPostGreen, and on their website is at liu.edu/post/green.