Contest urges University to get 'crazy' about recycling
Recyclers, start your sorting.
For the first time, Princeton has decided to join in the annual inter-university recycling contest "Recyclemania."
The "friendly competition," which began on Jan. 29 and will continue through Apr. 8, is intended to promote recycling habits and decrease unnecessary waste production, according to its promotional website.
The University's involvement is part of an effort by the student group Greening Princeton to enhance environmental responsibility on campus and foster alertness to recycling opportunities that will carry over even after the contest.
"We are not looking for Princeton to win the competition, but rather to increase awareness amongst the student body of their waste practices and hopefully reduce Princeton's overall waste," University Recyclemania coordinator Darcy Copeland '06 said.
Founded five years ago with just two participating schools, the program joined forces with the U.S. Environmental Agency's Wastewise program in 2004 and has grown exponentially since.
This year's competition boasts the program's largest enrollment to date: 93 colleges and universities are participating nationwide, including fellow Ivy Leaguers Brown, Harvard, Yale and Dartmouth. This figure is a dramatic increase from last year's 47 participating schools, which recycled a combined 10.4 million pounds of materials.
The University will compete in two events: "waste minimization," a competition to minimize per capita waste, and "per capita classic," won by the school with the greatest recycling per capita.
The winner of this year's competition will win the "Bowling Pin Guy" trophy and be given a full page ad in the newspapers of each of the participating schools as a bragging right.
Weekly results will also be posted on the Recyclemania website, www.recyclemaniacs.org, which also posts the guidelines of the competition and previous winners.
Copeland said that the University's participation will be "a means of gradually improving the overall system."
But for now, Princeton is just hoping to get its foot in the door. "And who knows?" Copeland said. "Maybe someday we will be able to win."
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