Eco-Reps aim to reduce food waste during Recyclemania
Towson’s Eco-Reps set up shop inside Patuxent Tuesday for Recyclemania: Sort That Waste, one of the events associated with campus’s green initiatives and the inter-collegiate competition Recyclemania.
From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Eco-reps worked to improve the disposal of the waste left over from students’ meals by separating the products that could be recycled from those that could not. The group also took the time to measure each account of waste, an important aspect of the Recyclemania competition series.
This year’s Recyclemania, an annual eight-week tournament among colleges nationwide, began on Feb. 2 and will continue through March 29. During the course of the semester thus far, the colleges involved have been working to measure and limit their food waste creation, as well as spread awareness about the effects of excessive landfill waste and its ecological consequences.
“Each participating school reports waste and recycling data each week and is ranked based on a number of metrics, from who has the best recycling rate to who has the least overall waste,” Eco-reps Student Coordinator and senior environmental science and studies major Daniela Beall said.
Among the universities competing against Towson in Recyclemania are institutions such as Richland College, University of Missouri Kansas City, Aquinas College and Barton College, all of which ranked better than 20th place in the Grand Champion spread during the competition’s second week, as decided by their respective recycling rates.
Comparatively, in week two, Towson was ranked at 98 of 227 and held a recycling rate of 30.69 percent.
And while Recyclemania is technically a competition, Beall says that the tournament’s true value lies in its message about the importance of change and general environmental preservation.
“Recyclemania isn’t just a way for the University to track its recycling performance and find ways to reduce waste, it’s about getting students, faculty and staff involved in meaningful behavior change,” Beall said.
Beall also said that tournament functions as a learning experience, for both the Eco-reps and campus as a whole.
“Recyclemania has a great guide discussing effective behavior change strategies, and is a very useful resource. It’s an opportunity for us to examine how we can do better, and gives us a chance to learn from colleges and universities who are leading on this front,” Beall said. “The context of a friendly competition helps facilitate and motivate necessary changes.”