The results are in! Residents at the College of Charleston increased recycling and reduced trash dumped in the landfill by 13% during a three-week competition that ran from late September to mid-October 2012. The campus-wide “RecycleMania” was hosted and organized by the Office of Sustainability and was modeled after the national RecycleMania competition that happens each spring.
“We worked with Residence Life and discussed how they could be more sustainable in their residence halls and houses,” says Facilities Coordinator Jen Jones. Students in each hall or historic house were pitted against one another in three categories: greatest increase in diversion rate, highest amount of total recycling per person in one week, and the top award: Most Sustainable. The Most Sustainable award was given to the house and hall that had the least amount of total waste, including both trash and recycling.
Residence Assistants monitored trash and recycling containers for three weeks and encouraged their residents to increase recycling throughout the competition. The Office of Sustainability calculated the data and provided RAs with tools to engage their residents in recycling awareness. In the residence hall division, the “Most Sustainable” award went to College Lodge (view complete results) and in the historic housing division; the award went to Sigma Delta sorority house (view complete results).
“Having this data is a huge step,” Jones says. “We have established a baseline to begin measuring change. We can begin implementing initiatives and take a look in a year or two and assess how successful those initiatives have been. We want education about recycling and sustainability to become a permanent part of the Residence Life programming.”
In February, the Office of Sustainability will host an energy and water conservation competition called Campus Conservation Nationals. For more information, contact Jennifer Jones at email@example.com or 843.953.0749.