February 6, 2013 by Emily C. Kelley, NMSU News Center
Editor’s Note: joni newcomer is intentionally lowercase.
New Mexico State University has kicked off its participation in the 2013 RecycleMania tournament, the national competition in which college campuses compete over 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 are participating this year. Schools compete in 11 categories to see who recycles the most on a per capita basis, which produces the least amount of waste and which recycles 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.
In 2012, 605 participating colleges and universities recovered over 92 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, which prevented the release of nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in greenhouse gases is comparable to the annual emissions from more than 25,800 passenger cars, electricity use of more than nearly 16,400 homes, or the burning of nearly 705 railcars’-worth of coal.
During RecycleMania 2012, the NMSU Las Cruces campus diverted 10,545 pounds of cans and bottles, 125,120 pounds of cardboard and 360,845 pounds of paper away from the landfill. During this same time, the campus still took more than 134,550 pounds of trash to the landfill.
NMSU’s Aggie Recycling collects plastic #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.
RecycleMania 2013 started Feb. 4 and will run through March 30.
The Environmental Science Student Organization is helping the RecycleMania campaign on campus this year. To join in their efforts, contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.