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Intellect

RecycleMania tests BYU recycling efforts against other universities

Brigham Young University has joined 48 other colleges and universities in the annual RecycleMania competition and is hoping to take home the trophy.

RecycleMania, a friendly recycling competition, was started in 2001 by Ohio University and Miami University of Ohio. It quickly became a national competition with colleges and universities eager to join and become known as the best recycling school in the nation.

The main goal of this friendly contest is to help each university increase recycling each year.

"The strongest part of BYU's recycling program is composting, which is not counted in RecycleMania. This is like telling a basketball team that their three best players can't play," said Bill Rudy, BYU Recycling trainer. "But despite excluding our strongest recycling component, BYU is still in the running for a top-five finish in the campus-wide competition."

Over the first few weeks of this 10-week contest, BYU reported a 25 percent recycling rate. BYU is currently ranked 12th, slightly behind neighboring Colorado State (ranked 4th at 30 percent recycling) and just ahead of Harvard. Currently in first place is California State University at San Marcos with a 42 percent recycling rate.

In 2004 BYU's recycling rate was more than 70 percent when compost was included.

"There are two contests. One measure is pounds recycled per person in the dorms and the other measure is a percentage of campus waste recycled, or recycling divided by the trash. The winner will be decided from the final numbers submitted to the EPA," said Rudy.

"The goals for us, I think, are to better advertise our services and work more with the resident hall assistants to help educate new students on our recycling goals," said Rudy.

Last year students living in on-campus housing recycled about seven pounds per person. To help make recycling more obvious and convenient, BYU added 230 additional recycling bins during the summer of 2004.

Largely because of this effort, BYU is on track to recycle about 10 pounds per person in its housing units.

Through the first few weeks of the on-campus competition the Carroll and Young residence halls are tied for first place with a little over three pounds recycled per student. Last year Wells Hall won with more than 10.5 pounds recycled per resident.

For more information contact Bill Rudy at (801) 422-4662 or at recycling@byu.edu.

Writer: James McCoy

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