Mar 012006
Authors: Melissa Edwards

Throughout campus, recycle bins are being stuffed to the top with bottles, cans and newspapers in an effort to win the trophy for this year's Recycle Mania.

Recycle Mania is a competition among colleges and universities within the United States and 33 outside countries to encourage using old materials to help make new materials. Another goal of Recycle Mania is to reduce the use of excess waste and disposables. This year's competition began on Jan. 29 and runs through April 8.

Sheela Backen , operations manager for facilities management, said everyone on campus is encouraged to recycle to help CSU win at least one of the three category trophies awarded by the competition.

The competition this year will take place among 93 colleges and universities, and awards will be given for collecting the most recyclable items, having the least amount of trash and having the highest recycling rate.

"It's very easy. There are recycling bins in every building, in every residence hall and next to every dumpster," she said. "It's as easy as using the dumpster. Quit throwing trash out and recycle it."

This year, Residence Hall Association and on-campus apartments are an important part of Recycle Mania. The residence halls have incorporated Recycle Mania into Hall Olympics, a series of competitions between the halls, in order to encourage more students on campus to recycle rather than just putting everything into the trash.

"It gives a real sense of community in the halls," said Ryan Cooper , president of RHA. "We are an environmentally friendly state and this helps to generate more recycling with more and more students."

Last year, CSU placed seventh overall for collecting the most amount of recyclables, beating Yale, Harvard and CU-Boulder. Backen said CSU is currently in third place for waste minimization in the competition.

With six weeks left in the competition, the residence halls are key players in bringing a trophy to CSU.

"The last couple days are when the halls bring in the most items to recycle," Cooper said. "That's when students really get into the competition.

Backen said she wants CSU to win the competition because the university is so close to, but she also said students should know the importance of recycling.

"The most important thing about recycling is that we're not using virgin materials. We have more of a demand for materials made out of recycling, like clothing," she said. "Seven two-liter bottles can make one velour jacket."

While this is a competition, Backen said winning is not the main reason for participating in Recycle Mania.

"The best thing about the competition is getting the awareness of recycling on campus," she said.

Melissa Edwards can be reached at

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