Recycle Mania Is Back

Lisa Beth Earle | The Daily Wildcat Lisa Beth Earle / Arizona Daily Wildcat Alana Sorge, an education freshman, decorates a reusable water bottle during a Recyclemania event at Kaibab-Huachuca on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Sorge is on the dorm's hall council as an eco representative and says that programs like this is what she loves.

Recycle Mania is here. 

""We are competing as an entire campus, including facilities management, the unions and Res Life. That means no matter where you recycle on campus, it's getting counted,"" said Jill Burchell, coordinator of sustainability education for Residence Life.


Last year, the UA won fourth place in the gorilla category at the national level, which counts the volume of recycling for the whole campus.

""Individual hall councils and (resident assistants) are encouraged to do programming around sustainability throughout Recycle Mania. Each program earns points, so the more they do, the better,"" Burchell said.

Last year, there were more than 220 sustainability programs in residence halls. This year the residence hall with the most points will earn $250.

Kaibab-Huachuca Residence Hall has already started promoting sustainability. On Tuesday Kaibab-Huachuca held an event called The Sustainable Iron Chef, which included a four-course meal and two chefs. The food was made with local ingredients from Arizona and California.

There were about 35 people at the event.

On Wednesday the hall hosted an event to promote sustainable water bottles. Residents were each given a free aluminum water bottle to decorate. Stickers, glitter and puff paint were provided for decorating.

""I think it's very creative,"" said Taylor Tillery, an animal sciences freshman.

Students enjoyed decorating the water bottles.

""I really like it. You can put stickers on it and it looks really cool. I can just fill it up and then I don't have to use these (plastic bottles),"" said Cassidy Matheson, a pre-education freshman.

Matheson bought a plastic bottle earlier that day and was happy to have sustainable water bottle.

""We are all pretty active and athletic, so the first thing we thought of was water bottles,"" said Megan Johnston, an RA who helped plan the event. ""We are just really excited.""

Alana Sorge, director of sustainability for Kaibab-Huachuca, said they had seen a lot of support from residents, as well as from the campus.

Next week Kaibab-Huachuca will be potting plants around the residence hall.

The hall is also planning an event to encourage students to learn about Tucson's public transit by going on an adventure around Tucson.

""We are trying to expand our effort beyond simply recycling,"" said Chris Anderson, Kaibab-Huachuca's Community Director. ""We want people to have ownership.""

This year, the UA is also participating in TerraCycle, which turns trash into fashion.

""In special TerraCycle boxes we are collecting Lays chip bags, Mars candy wrappers, foil-lined energy or granola bars, Nabisco cookie wrappers and Capri Sun pouches,"" Burchell said.

The UA will also be measuring electricity.

""Buildings have different kinds of heating and cooling systems. What we have done is combine refrigeration, steam and electricity to get an overall utility score. We are comparing those scores to that of 2009 during the same month. Any hall that used fewer utilities in 2009 will earn points,"" Burchell said.

The electricity competition will run until the middle of February. Eco Reps, a network of environmentally concerned students, faculty and staff, will have a table on the UA Mall on Feb. 4 to spread awareness for Recycle Mania.

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