Recycle Mania is a ten week-long nationwide competition between colleges and universities to reduce the most waste on their campuses and increase campus recycling rates.
Temple is competing in the total recycling division, where the university is ranked number #2 in Pennsylvania, and plans to make a goal of 350,000 pounds of recyclables this year. With weeks left in the competition, the university is a little less than half way to its goal.
The university set an ambitious goal this year, but has already performed better in the tournament this year than it did last year.
On March 30th, next Thursday, from 1pm to 5pm, the Office of Sustainability will be hosting a Dumpster & Waste Audit that will feature the artwork of Megan Clement at the Bell Tower. Clement won a design contest held by the office, and while she is painting the dumpster event. participants will simultaneously pick through the dumpster to find recyclable materials.
Emily E Cornuet, Recycling Coordinator, says that one of her goals for the Office of Sustainability this year is to get recycling bins into every residence hall room on campus. Currently, there are recycling bins in about 2,200 rooms, which make up just about half of campus. She also wants to continue to engage as many Temple University students as possible.
Cornuet and Kathleen Grady, Director of Sustainability, both emphasized how small and simple behavioral changes can make a big difference. They both recommended that students begin by simply using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. Not only does the use of these items reduce waste, but they also offer an opportunity to save money.
Cornuet says, “Reducing waste is always better than creating more recyclable materials.”
The Office of Sustainability also has the Temple Office Supply Swap Program. This is a program that collects donations of old office supplies around campus and makes them available for reuse by students and faculty.
Cornuet reaffirms that, “Reuse is a huge thing that we’re trying to push” at the Office of Sustainability.