By: Christine LaFrancesca, Staff Writer
Recyclemania, a friendly competition between universities to promote waste reduction, originated in 2001, as a motivational tool to encourage Miami and Ohio University students to recycle more. It has now reached over 400 schools nationally.
“Over an eight-week period each spring, colleges across the United States report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week,” Campus Planning and Sustainability Manager Patricia Watson said. “They are ranked in different categories based on who recycles the most, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste.”
Towson has also created its own social media contest, “Recycle This” which started last week and will be ending on Feb. 13.
“Students are asked to like ‘Towson Goes Green,’ our Facebook page and take a selfie of themselves recycling something and post it to that page with the hashtag, #RecycleThis,” Watson said. “Everyone who posts will be put into a raffle and on Friday the 13th, we’ll draw a name and that person will win a prize.”
Additionally, starting next Monday Towson will start another social media campaign called “Caught Green Handed” in an effort to keep the competition going.
“There will be eco representatives walking around and if they see you doing something environmentally friendly, they’ll take your picture and post it on the page,” Watson said. “Students will receive a freebie for their efforts.”
Watson is focusing on eliminating trashcans as a part of a campus-wide effort to reduce Towson’s carbon footprint and the amount of waste produced.
Instead of trashcans, Watson hopes to replace them with recycle bins that have a smaller trash receptacle attached to the side.
“The Administration Building already has them, but we want to take them campus-wide,” Watson said. “This will help eliminate mistakes when recycling. We don’t want to get rid of trash cans all together, just centralize them.”
Watson hopes to see Towson students share her enthusiasm as the semester continues.
“I would love it if every student did one little thing to help us make it within the top ten schools involved in Recyclemania,” Watson said. “I think we can have an impact not only on Towson but our county as well. We’re trying to build a community.”