Ithaca College is participating in a recycling competition against over 150 colleges and universities in the United States and Canada beginning Feb. 5.
This will be the college’s 12th year participating in Recyclemania, a competition encouraging schools to reduce waste on their campuses. For two months, the participating schools will measure and report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week.
Senior Josh Enderle, program manager of the Eco-Reps, a club that reports sustainability on campus, is heading the college’s efforts. There are eight different categories in Recyclemania that the college is competing in. Enderle said the most important category is the Grand Champion Category where total amount of recycling and compost generated is divided by the total amount of recycling and compost plus the total amount of waste, multiplied by 100.
Winning schools will be named in a press release and will receive a trophy made from recycled materials. The college has participated in Recyclemania for 11 years — it is ranked “silver” on the Recyclemania Wall of Fame for having more than 10 years of participation, as the program has been running for only 15 years. From 2015 to 2016, the college improved its recycling rate by 8 percent. Additionally, in 2015, the college ranked 26th out of 167 colleges in the Food Service Organics category, which measures and compares the amount of food on different colleges campuses going into a landfill. In 2015, the college ranked 74th out of 236 colleges in the Grand Champion category.
Enderle said the Eco-Reps are planning to promote Recyclemania through setting up informational tables and hosting a video contest, among other events.
Greg Lischke, director of energy management and sustainability, said he hopes the Eco-Reps are able to work together effectively with Ithaca College Dining Services and the campus community on the competition.
“The event spans several months, and my hope is that we move forward together in an effective manner throughout the competition,” Lischke said.
Enderle said he hopes the college community gains a culture of recycling and composting from the Recyclemania competition.
“Not only to know it for this semester, but to carry it onwards so we continually improve and make it more part of the culture,” he said.