CAN MUSTANGS MASTER THE SINGLE STREAM?
February 4, 2013
DALLAS (SMU) – The annual
RecycleMania competition is back at SMU, and the University’s E-reps
(student environmental representatives) are hoping to catch people
“green-handed” as they correctly toss items like plastic bottles, paper
and aluminum cans into campus recycle bins.
RecycleMania is a friendly
competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling
programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus
communities. Over an eight-week period each spring, colleges across the
United States and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash
collected each week and are, in turn, ranked in various categories based
on who recycles the most. This year’s competition runs from Feb. 3 –
March 30, and participating schools can track their performance against
other colleges and universities through weekly rankings posted at
Reducing the amount of
material SMU sends to the landfill is easy since the campus takes the
“single stream” approach to recycling – which means there’s no need to
sort the most common materials. Cardboard, paper, plastic bottles and
tubs, as well as aluminum and tin cans are all recyclable together
at SMU because those items are sorted by an automated system at a
central processing plant after they are collected.
But there are a handful of
items that should be sorted, and SMU has a way to help with that,
too. Items like batteries and printer cartridges may be recycled
separately in the area shared by the Post Office at the Hughes-Trigg
What does a recycle bin
look like at SMU? Sometimes it’s obvious – like the large, bright blue
bins marked with the recycle logo. Coke has provided specially marked
recycle bins in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. And in all campus
buildings, any bin outfitted with a clear plastic liner is reserved for
recyclables while bins with black liners are reserved for traditional
SMU’s E-Reps, students
who promote environmentally conscious behavior within their assigned
residential communities, are taking the lead in this year’s RecycleMania
competition, along with members of SMU’s Sustainability Committee,
Sustainability Administrator Kevin Dilliard and SMU Facility Services.
In addition to competing nationally against other universities, SMU is
hosting internal competitions between residence halls and
Academic/Administrative/Athletic facilities during RecycleMania.
Jewel Lipps, an E-rep and vice president of
the SMU Environmental Society, says the E-Reps will be wearing
RecycleMania T-shirts during the competition to help spread the word.
The E-reps also will set up a recycling information table during evening
hours outside Mac’s Place in McElvaney Hall to help demonstrate
recycling tips in the first month of the competition.
“At SMU, we take pride in
our beautiful campus,” Lipps said. “If SMU led the RecycleMania
competition in Texas, we would show that SMU values beauty in our
greater community and acts with environmental consciousness. On a more
practical side, we are an urban university, and recycling really matters
here! We don't have much space to throw our waste, and with so many
people in the city, many end up dealing with the negative effects. By
recycling more, we're showing that we care about our community.”
Follow the E-Reps blog for information
about the competition and other sustainability tips at