RecycleMania boosts recycling with contest


Jennifer McLaughlin, Columnist

Let the competition begin. For the ninth year in a row, South Dakota State University will be participating in RecycleMania.

RecycleMania is a nationwide recycling competition that takes place every February and March.

Last year, SDSU placed 121st in diversion rate out of 170 schools, the amount of waste diverted from landfills for recycling, with 24.26 percent. For recycling per capita, SDSU recycled 13.25 pounds per person and placed 84 out of 228 schools.

What’s the purpose you might ask? It’s simple, the goal of the competition is to increase recycling and decrease the amount of waste on campus.

The competition takes place across campus, so all students and employees are encouraged to do their part by recycling everything they can. As a reminder, there are three main categories of items you can recycle: paper, cans, and plastic.

Paper items include white paper, colored paper, newspapers, and magazines. Can items would include things like soup cans and pop cans. Plastics are a little trickier. To determine if a plastic item is recyclable, check the bottom of the item for the recycling symbol, the number in it, and the letters below the symbol. If it is a number 1-7 and has the letters PP, PET or PETE below the number, it can be recycled.

All recyclable items must be placed in a recycling bin. Bins are located across campus both inside and outside and are signified as recycling bins by their blue lids. Offices and dorm rooms also have small blue bins for recycling. Students are responsible for emptying their dorm room recycling bin in the blue doored dumpsters outside.

The simple task of recycling is great for the environment as it allows resources to be reused as opposed to extracting new materials. It’s important to remember the value of recycling and that every item recycled is beneficial.

As we progress through RecycleMania 2019, let’s see how much we can increase our recycling.

Jennifer McLaughlin is the sustainability specialist and can be reached at [email protected].