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RecycleMania at Penn: 2012 a Threshold Year

February 7, 2012, Volume 58, No. 21


During this ‘Year of Games’, Penn is among the 600+ colleges and universities across the US and Canada competing over the next eight weeks in RecycleMania 2012 to see which schools will minimize their waste stream most significantly and achieve the greatest recycling rate.

As the University gears up its recycling efforts for the tournament, it has set a goal of 32 percent for recycling glass, plastic, metal, paper and cardboard. With a current rate of 29 percent, getting to this year’s campus RecycleMania goal will take just a little extra effort from everyone in the community. Challenge yourself to reduce, reuse and recycle, and compete against your peers. 

“The industry is getting better at finding more ways to recycle more materials. Those advances, along with our initiative to consolidate recycling and trash bins across campus, is making it easier than ever for the Penn community to recycle,” said Dan Garofalo, Penn’s Environmental Sustainability Coordinator. “RecycleMania is an opportunity to minimize the amount of waste you produce and make recycling a lifetime habit.”

Led by the Green Campus Partnership, which oversees Penn’s Climate Action Plan implementation, various areas of campus have made public commitments about their recycling efforts. Among those that already have:

  • Engineering plans to expand its battery recycling and desk-side recycling program in offices.
  • Arts and Sciences plans to pilot desk-side recycling in one of its buildings.
  • The Perelman School of Medicine will offer hardcover book recycling in BRB lobby during RecycleMania.
  • Facilities and Real Estate Services will roll out Phase 2 of a campus bin consolidation effort whereby single trash cans will be paired with single- or dual-stream cans.
  • Business Services will pilot centralized trash and desk-side recycling and participate in a recycling competition among offices at 3401 Walnut. 
  • Student Eco-Reps plan to hold events in their various residences throughout the competition.
  • Staff & Faculty Eco-Reps will inform their offices through emails, posters and events. Some will even rally office clean ups during spring break.

Members of the campus community can pick up information about recycling at Penn as well as Green Campus Partnership giveaways at events, set for 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. each day during the kickoff week now through February 10. Sustainability reps will be at Houston Market today; Joe’s Café, Wednesday; Silfen Study Center, Thursday, and Levine Hall, Friday. On February 16, the Perelman School of Medicine will host a sustainability fair in BRB lobby. Commitments and weekly standings will appear on the Green Campus Partnership website. Through an awareness campaign spanning the campus from Hamilton Village to College Green and beyond, look for tips, signage and other reminders to reduce your waste and recycle. Combining school spirit and sustainable living is a win-win for the campus and the environment.   

Almanac - February 7, 2012, Volume 58, No. 21