Saint Vincent College collected 35,856 pounds of recyclable material over an eight-week period in the RecycleMania competition, despite a rumor among students that the college hardly recycles.
While Saint Vincent’s recycling totals for the competition earned them a high-rank, not all students were aware of the campus’ recycling efforts.
Mark O’Grady, junior anthropology and sociology major, commented on his awareness of the school’s recycling program.
“I know they have those recycling bins on campus, but I never really see anyone empty them or use them that often,” O’Grady said. “I see a lot of people just thrown their plastic cups away in the regular garbage cans.”
However, Vicki Booth, assistant director of facility management, assured The Review that FMO takes recycling seriously and that recycled materials are collected from the buildings across campus biweekly.
The recycling efforts at Saint Vincent began at the monastery, according to Booth, and the efforts then spread across campus.
The total ranked the college 178th place out of 320 participating schools and 59th in the per capita division, with 16.029 pounds collected per person.
Participating schools are ranked in various categories according to how much recycling and food waste they divert from the landfill.
The competition was coordinated by Angela Belli, director of the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve at Saint Vincent College, with the assistance of Booth.
Belli commented on her involvement with the competition.
“[The] Nature Reserve has always been involved in working with [facility management] to secure weight totals for recycling to enter the competition each year in some capacity,” Belli said.
Booth described to The Review the types of materials that the college recycled for the competition.
“By this time, we recycle all light bulbs, batteries, glass, plastic, paper and the grease that the food service uses,” Booth said.
The weight measurements are conducted by Saint Vincent Facility Management Offices (FMO) and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, according to Booth.
This year’s competition began on Feb. 5 and ran until March 31. The RecycleMania website states that its mission is: “provides tools and opportunities that inspire, empower and mobilize colleges and universities to benchmark and improve efforts to reduce or eliminate waste.”