Albion Posts Results in National Recyclemania
Albion's participation in the Spring 2010 Recyclemania concluded with the College finishing in the center of the rankings in the national competition. Student organizer Mallory Fellows was pleased with the results.
"Last year, just the students living in residence halls recycled approximately 6 pounds of materials per person for the whole campus, including faculty and administration and students who don't live in residence halls," she explained. "This year, with more accurate measurement, we did about as well and our ranking this year is a little higher even with a lot more schools competing."
The 2010 Recyclemania team used a variety of strategies to get students recycling, including informative displays in each residence hall. "The biggest issue we run up against is that people don't know what they can and can't recycle. People put things in the bin that they think can be recycled, but they don't necessarily know," said Fellows. "The more people are educated on the process of recycling, the more they'll be motivated to recycle."
Apathy is another challenge faced by the Recyclemania team. "Many times I'll glance in a trash can and see cans, when there's a recycling container just down the hall," Fellows reflects. "We need to make people aware the bin is nearby, and then we need to get them to use it."
Albion's administration, especially Dining and Hospitality and Facilities Operations, provide extensive and enthusiastic support of recycling and sustainability efforts. Fellows asserts that improving sustainability on campus, one of the College strategic plan focuses, is an important part of an Albion education.
"We're enforcing habits that people will hopefully take with them when they leave campus. When you leave campus, recycling is usually not that convenient – you have to pay for pickup or load it into your car and drop it off," says Fellows. "Getting students used to recycling is important and worthwhile. I get a sense of satisfaction seeing students recycling more through the small issues we've taken this year. I have great faith in the student body."
More information is available at www.recyclemania.org.