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Friday, Oct 31, 2014

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This structure, which was constructed at the top of Morton Hill, is just one of several ways Campus Recycling is encouraging RecycleMania participation.

Photographer: Bethany Venable

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RecycleMania: Halfway done, 190,000 pounds of waste collected


By the end of this week, the annual multi-university recycling challenge known as RecycleMania will be halfway over. Already, Ohio University is off to a running start. In two weeks, Recyclemania has collected 190,000 pounds of materials. If this pace continues for the entire eight weeks, about 750,000 pounds (or three-quarters of a million) of waste could be recycled, says Andrew Ladd, Campus Recycling and Refuse manager.

“My primary goal is to create a recycling community for Ohio University and Athens,” said Ladd. But, he says, he’d also like to win the competition’s MAC Division and beat Miami University.

In 2013, Ohio University won four out of the nine categories for the MAC division beating out other colleges. The recycling showdown began in 2001 with just Ohio University and Miami University competing. Eventually it grew to reach schools nationwide. A year ago, Ohio University won the “Gorilla Prize” which is given to the university that recycles the most materials.  

Campus Recycling plans on getting the word out this year with more recycling events Andrew Ladd has been working on for this spring. The “Message in a Bottle” was Campus Recycling latest take on recycling. Participants put a pledge or a goal of their own recycling habits in a plastic bottle and hung it on an arch placed beside Morton Hill.

“It was a smashing success,” Ladd said. The structure at the top of Morton helped Campus Recycling earn about 500 pledges. Ladd said he felt it was a great way to get the word out about RecycleMania. He is also using social media as a tool to spread the word. Since the first week, OHIO’s Campus Recycling has been using their Twitter account as a way to advertise. Every day the account will tweet a recycling challenge. Anyone who is following the account can win a prize such as a gift card or a coffee cup.

Next up for Campus Recycling is a hands-on challenge called “Recycle Bots 2014” for Recyclemania.

“We’ve (Campus Recycling) been building recycled art robots out of recycled electronics. We will be strategically placing them around the campus and the community,” Ladd described. His vision is to put more of an emphasis on recycling electronics, something he says people know little about.

“The idea is that each piece will be an educational tool and will educate about RecycleMania and about recycling in general. It will also be interactive in the sense that we’re encouraging people to take pictures and tweet their picture of the Recycle Bot,” Ladd said.

Ladd plans to put the “Recycle Bots” in places on and near the Athens Campus such as Baker University Center and Donkey Coffee. Anyone who finds one of the electronic waste characters can send a picture to Ohio University’s Campus Recycling Twitter account (@OUCampusRecycling) and will be put in a drawing to win a gift card from Donkey Coffee and Espresso, Brenen’s Coffee Cafe, Whit’s and Big Mama’s Burritos. This campaign will run from March 15 through March 29.  
 

RecycleMania wraps up on March 29. A “Recycling Take Back Day” will be held in the Peden Stadium parking lot, offering a chance to recycle electronics and appliances from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

“A lot of people don’t realize that their computers, cell phones, and toasters can be recycled. Even if they do realize it, there isn’t an outlet for it so we’re providing that outlet for hard to recycle items,” said Ladd.

The event will be open to all Athens County residents and is not just limited to Ohio University.