April 22, 2013 by Emily C. Kelley, NMSU News Center
New Mexico State University finished seventh place in the grand champion division of RecycleMania 2013, the national competition in which college campuses compete during eight weeks to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste.
NMSU has been a leader in RecycleMania in recent years, placing fifth in both 2011 and 2012, and second in 2010 in the competition division of the tournament. More than 525 schools from 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada participated this year. Schools competed in 11 categories to see who recycled the most on a per capita basis, which produced the least amount of waste and which recycled the largest percentage of their overall waste stream.
“We are educating everyone on campus about the importance of not filling the landfill with things that could otherwise be recycled or reused,” said joni newcomer, manager of environmental policy and sustainability at NMSU. “Recycling centers can be found in almost every building, typically under stairwells. To request a small single stream recycling bin for under your desk or in your office, call Omar Moreno, the recycling manager, at 575-993-2130.”
“RecycleMania’s power comes from the way it taps school spirit to motivate students who may not react to a traditional environmental message,” said Bill Rudy, recycling manager at Brigham Young University and president of RecycleMania Inc.
Between the Feb. 3 kickoff and the tournament’s final day March 30, participating schools collectively recovered 90.3 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of nearly 121,436 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere.
NMSU’s Aggie Recycling collects plastic No. 1 (PET and PETE), aluminum cans, paper, cardboard, steel, tires, asphalt, concrete and yard waste. For the RecycleMania competition only, plastic water and soda bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard and paper (all types) are collected and weighed. The weighted amounts get reported weekly to the RecycleMania tournament council. Items can be dropped off at the Aggie Recycling Center between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Items also can be dropped in the many recycling bins on campus.
NMSU also is focusing this year on the reuse of office supplies, furniture and other on-campus items as part of waste reduction efforts on campus. To learn more about how to repurpose out-of-date materials contact the Office of Sustainability at 575-646-7563 or visit sustainability.nmsu.edu.
Old cell phones can be recycled through the 911 Cell Phone Bank recycling program. To participate, old cell phones, chargers and batteries can be dropped off at the NMSU Police Department main lobby, at the office of Senior Vice President Ben Woods in the north wing of Hadley Hall or in the ASNMSU office in Corbett Center. Used phones will be reconditioned and made available to those in the community with a need. While the phones cannot be used for making regular calls, they provide a lifeline to emergency services without any monthly charges.
Editor’s Note: joni newcomer is intentionally lowercase.