Sorting the dirty underwear was the worst, said Alysse Brice, a junior natural resources recreation and tourism major Wednesday, as she took a break from separating the trash from the recyclables during CSUâ€™s trash audit.
â€œAnd thereâ€™s just lots of decomposing nasty food thatâ€™s, like, turning to liquid â€” nasty,â€ said Brice, standing next to the pile of waste, about 6-feet tall and made up of trash from dumpsters across the campus, dumped on the street just southwest of the Lory Student Center.
The trash audit takes place annually and occurs near the start of the nation-wide, 10-week recycling contest RecycleMania. The 2010 RecycleMania competition started last week.
Members of the Live Green Team, along with help from the Larimer County Sheriffâ€™s Departmentâ€™s alternative sentencing unit, took about a ton of trash from the dorms and sorted through it to show students how much of the waste was recyclable.
â€œToday is pretty much just trying to inform students of what they are throwing away, what can be recycled, what isnâ€™t recyclable, what can be composted,â€ said Aaron Briscoe, an integrated solid waste supervisor for CSU.
Brice, an HDS student intern, said, â€œWeâ€™re trying to be a little more responsible environmentally and socially. I mean if youâ€™re throwing away toxic things, thatâ€™s harmful to other people. Your trash doesnâ€™t just go away. Somebody has to deal with it, and this is a perfect example.â€
As a big-player in the competition â€“â€“ placing in the top-10 the past five years â€“â€“ CSU is determined to do well. Since the start of the 2010 RecycleMania contest, CSU has recycled 38,900 pounds of waste while only trashing 32,400 pounds, which equals a recycling rate of 2.31 pounds per student.
Students around campus were surprised to see how much trash could have been recycled out of the relatively small pile compiled.
â€œItâ€™s pretty amazing,â€ said Kiersten Jarvis, a sophomore natural resources management major. â€œI canâ€™t believe thereâ€™s this much trash, and the stuff that people throw away â€” itâ€™s amazing.â€
This year, Housing and Dining Services launched the Green Warrior campaign, which aims to promote student involvement in green initiatives. The Rocky Mountain Institute recently granted the campaign $47,000.
The campaign plans to promote its message via different forms, including green events like RecycleMania and through resources on its Web site http://www.green.colostate.edu/greenwarrior.
On the Web site, students can report their green actions, win points and then turn in those points for prizes such as a Green Warrior T-shirt or an energy-conserving power strip.
â€œWe really want to promote the green university and get more students engaged,â€ Brice said.
This year the Green Warrior campaign is not hosting its energy conservation competition between the dorms and apartments around the campus during RecycleMania. The competition will take place later on in the semester.
Staff writer K.C. Fleming can be reached at email@example.com.