RecycleMania Kicks Off – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

RecycleMania Kicks Off

This year’s RecycleMania competition has begun, and HWS is again participating in the national competition which began on Sunday, Feb. 1. With a host of materials management events planned, the Colleges are expected to make a strong showing in the competition, which presents awards in categories such as pounds of recycled and composted materials as well as per capita rates of recycling.

Now in its sixth year at HWS, RecycleMania is an annual staple for those interested in promoting sustainability issues, especially improving materials management practices. Most events in the two month-long competition are directed towards education, awareness and outreach. With eco-representatives, student volunteers committed to sustainability leadership, and learning communities of students contributing, the Colleges hope to reach a recycling rate of 30 percent.

In particular, the Sustainable Living Learning Community, which consists of first-year students in linked courses pertinent to sustainability, will contribute to the competition efforts. Faculty members also have committed to RecycleMania such as Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee and his students who have pledged to contribute.

“RecycleMania is a way to personally engage with sustainability while contributing to the sustainability efforts of the institution,” reflects HWS Sustainability Manager Adam Maurer.

All students are invited and encouraged to take part in the hands-on activities planned throughout the competition. For instance, on Super Bowl Sunday, the campus hosted a collection of pizza boxes; students competed to collect the greatest number of cardboard pizza boxes.

In addition, HWS will sponsor its annual Sustainability Sweep, a recycling sprint designed to help boost the Colleges’ recycling effort. During the event, teams of students scour the campus to collect the most recyclable materials by the pound. Last year, the event collected more than 400 pounds of recyclables, diverting them away from landfills. This year, with the help of Professor Magee’s “Geography of Garbage” students, HWS will conduct two waste audits, a means to characterize the waste stream at particular HWS buildings. One audit will be conducted at the beginning of the competition and one audit near the end.

“We want to see how long-standing the impact of RecycleMania is on the awareness of the campus,” explains Maurer.

This year, the competition is set to engage even more students than previous years. Each campus community member is able to take part, simply by committing to recycle and compost all sustainable materials consumed both during RecycleMania and throughout the semester. At its core, the contest is meant to inspire sustained and life-long habits of recycling and dedication to living sustainably.

“Everyone should get involved with Recyclemania because we need everyone’s help,” Maurer says. “We’re competing against rivals and non-rivals, like large state institutions, across the nation. It’s not often we get to compete against the likes of Penn State, Ohio State, Oregon, etc.”

If you have innovative materials management ideas or want further information on Recyclemania, please contact Sustainability Manager, Adam Maurer, at or 315.781.4380.

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