Go Green! Student sustainability intern says, 'Watch your waste'

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is looking to turn its students, faculty and staff into “maniacs” over a course of 10 weeks, thanks to the nationwide competition called “RecyleMania.”

From Jan. 17 to March 17, UW-Green Bay is joining efforts with colleges and universities across the U.S. to promote waste reduction activities on their campuses.

The competition involves 607 institutions representing 49 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. Currently, 18 Wisconsin schools are entered, including not only UW-Green Bay but nearby St. Norbert College and most of the other UW System schools. Competition takes place in a variety of categories, including a Grand Champion category, which combines both trash and core recyclable materials to determine a school’s recycling rate.

UW-Green Bay’s selected category, Waste Minimization, monitors the amount of municipal solid waste, which include both recyclables and trash. The University has arranged with Waste Management, the institution’s waste hauler, to provide volume measurements on dumpster usage on campus. That data, which is converted to weight per person, is then sent to RecycleMania, providing them the necessary information to keep track of UW-Green Bay’s progress.

As the sustainability intern at UW-Green Bay, Molly Collard (pictured above) has focused her attention on spreading the word of RecycleMania to the campus. Collard is looking, along with the universitywide Sustainability Committee, to heighten the awareness of recycling on campus… and the price we pay if we don’t.

“Paper, disposable cups and silverware, and packaging all have a price,” Collard said. “The less we use, the less we pay for.”

Collard believes that by raising awareness and competing in RecycleMania, UW-Green Bay will not only gain recognition in the community, but with other competing schools as well.

“UW-Green Bay was founded on environmental principles, and was once known as Eco U,” Collard said. “This competition is a great way to show we still are striving to live up to the founding mission of our campus.”

Click here for more information about RecyleMania, or keep watch for the program around campus.

Story by Paul Mee, editorial intern, UW-Green Bay’s Office of Marketing and Communication.