Mar 28, 2013
By Tessa Dufresne
As the 2013 RecycleMania competition comes to a close for the more than 630 schools racing to reduce the most campus waste, Ohio University Recycling and Refuse Manager Andrew Ladd wants students, faculty and staff to participate in hopes of winning the MAC title.
The final day for the tournament is Friday, April 5.
"The MAC is becoming a much more competitive division," Ladd said. "We leapt out to a big lead, but it is tightening up and we are in a neck-and-neck race with Northern Illinois University."
In the concluding weeks, the Recycling and Refuse Department erected the "It All Adds Up" plastics art installation on the Howard Hall site as a visual representation of four weeks of recycling.
"The art installation has been received very positively," Ladd said. "As we were constructing it, students would ask questions and there was adjectives used like 'very impressive,' 'I never understood how much it was' and 'amazing,' so it is definitely getting people to think about the concept that it all adds up and that their small action of recycling adds up very quickly to large amounts."
Ladd said the art installation not only celebrates RecycleMania, it helps bring attention to recycling, which leads more people to recycle and, ultimately, increases campus recycling numbers.
The department also maintained the informational ranking boards in the dining halls, Baker University Center and the Charles J. Ping Recreation Center for student awareness.
The Feb. 27 Game Day Challenge during the home basketball game against the University of Akron was successful in promoting waste reduction on campus.
"It kickstarted proper waste collection, composting and recycling at our sporting events," said Ladd. "It proved that we can have composting at a game and that composting with enough education can stay pure and not get contaminated. It helped make some links with the decision makers in custodial and athletics, so we'll be following up on the effort to try to figure out the best long-term strategy for athletic events."
Ladd and Campus Recycling student employees will continue work to make recycling a social norm at the University in the months following the tournament, including painting the graffiti wall and adding educational messages to campus recycling bins, hosting events for Athens Beautification Day on April 15 and Earth Day on April 22 and tweeting tips of the week.
As for now, Ladd said that winning the MAC division is still within Ohio University's reach, but requires complete campus participation.
"If we are going to win the MAC, it is going to take a final push to make sure everyone is recycling everything we can," he said.