The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Recyclemania returns to UMW for sixth year of competition

2 min read
The University of Mary Washington kicked off February by joining schools across the country in RecycleMania, an annual competition that promotes sustainability by encouraging colleges and universities to reduce, reuse and recycle their on-campus waste. UMW is one of over 450 schools from all 50 states participating in the eight-week competition.

This will be the sixth year that UMW competes in the Per Capita Classic category, which measures the percentage of recycled materials per person.
For the last two years, UMW placed in the top 20 and first in the state of Virginia in the Per Capita Classic category. In 2013, the University recycled 37.544 pounds of materials per person over eight weeks, which is equivalent to more than 200,000 pounds of recyclables kept out of landfills. The 182 metric tons of carbon dioxide removed from the atmosphere through UMW’s recycling is comparable to taking 97 cars off the road.
“I would love for UMW to move into the top 10 internationally in the Per Capita Classic category,” said Joni Wilson, director of landscaping and grounds. “I need everyone to recycle, recycle, recycle.”
Wilson encourages students to take advantage of the recycling facilities located in residence halls, along Campus Walk and in academic buildings.
Events coinciding with RecycleMania are planned to take place throughout the competition in order to encourage sustainability. Students can take a sustainability pledge by signing recycled bottle caps. Self-proclaimed “RecycleManiacs,” made up of members of UMW’s Ecology Club and RecycleMania volunteers, will visit residence halls to collect recyclables and spread the word about the competition.
On Saturday, Feb. 8, the University held a “Game Day Challenge” at the men’s basketball game, where they received 149 pledges to recycle and gave away reusable water bottles.
The University will host several RecyleMania events in March, starting on March 6 with the annual “Shred Event,” which will be held in the William Street parking lot. Faculty, staff, students and members of the Fredericksburg community are encouraged to come shred their confidential documents for free. Past shred events have resulted in 15,000 pounds of paper recycled in one day.
On Tuesday, March 11, a new sustainability event called “Get Trashed” will be held on Ball Circle, where students will create a community garden greenhouse and mosaic out of recycled bottle caps and two-liter bottles.
Although the competition just began, Wilson said that UMW already made a good start and is reporting numbers similar to last year’s winning counts.