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Recyclemania returns to Mills

Recyclemania is a competition that encourages students to recycle more on campus. (OCTAVIA SUN)
Recyclemania is a competition that encourages students to recycle more on campus. (OCTAVIA SUN)

Returning to Mills College for its eighth consecutive year is Recyclemania, a competition where students compete to grant their school a higher sustainability ranking.

Recyclemania, a recycling and waste-reduction competition between more than 450 colleges nationwide, has some updates to this year’s competition. The winning schools will receive national recognition, an award made out of recyclable materials and will host the trophy for the year.

This year in Recyclemania, Mills hopes to reach zero waste, which is defined as having less than 10 percent waste. The percentage of waste is dependent on the school’s population and the amount of waste exported. There are two types of competition: national, which runs from Feb. 1 to March 13, and between the Mills Residence Halls, which runs from Feb. 23 to March 13. 

According to eco-representative for recycling Saiqaa Nuri, the people at Mills who collect trash each morning weigh and compare the total landfill and compost. Afterwards, they send the data to Sustainability Coordinator Britta Bullard and she calculates the rate of recycling, the rate of reduction in landfill and the amount of compost to report for the national competition.

Bullard is thrilled to have Mills participate in Recyclemania again.

“It’s nice to have Mills represented on the national level,” Bullard said.

This year, there is a new category added to the competition which is the Recycle, Reuse, Reduce (3R) Action Challenge.  The 3R Action Challenge is a social media and texting challenge that has four stages (#Recycle, #Reuse, #Reduce and #ZeroWaste), each being two weeks long, during which students can share when they recycle, compost, reuse or reduce to generate points.

“Each time a student texts, tweets or uses a special new app, they’ll give their campus a bump in this ranking to see which school has the most recycling spirit,” Nuri said.

Junior Brittany Burnett, an eco-representative for creek restoration, is also looking forward to the new addition of the 3R Action Challenge to 2015’s Recyclemania.

“This year for us marks a significant change in our outreach to the community, with the Recyclemania kick-off event we had on Feb. 17 and the new hashtag program,” Burnett said. “We’re all hoping the changes we implement this year will help us do that.”

Senior and President of EarthCorps at Mills Jane Langner believes that Recyclemania is a fun way to get people to recycle.

Linda Zitzner, associate vice president for Operations, said she loves how Recyclemania educates people on what can or cannot be recycled in a fun manner.

“Mills has a very real commitment to sustainable practices and this event helps highlight one of our target areas,” Zitzner said.  “The competition also engages the students in a fun, competitive way to learn about recycling and hopefully results in long-lasting behavior changes.”

For more on Recyclemania, check out Alexina Estrada’s article featured in the The Campanil last year.