Recyclemania has been taking place during February and continues into March. Currently, Messiah ranks 16 out of 500 schools for the food organics category, 50 out of 502 schools for Diversion and 57 out of 502 schools in the Per Capita category.
Messiah began competing in Recyclemania last year when Madeline Troyer, a junior sustainability major, took hold of the idea and ran with it. “It gives us a chance to reach out to students and expose students to the effects of waste,” she said.
Behind the scenes, Penn Waste collects the garbage and recyclables and weighs it, reporting the data back to the Office of Sustainability. This gives Troyer and the Office a way to track where they are ranking amongst the other schools during Recyclemania.
“We do really well in the organics category partly because have composting in all the dorms and many other schools, even bigger ones, don’t compost,” Troyer said.
This year, Troyer has a higher goal than just getting more people to recycle, but rather getting them to produce less waste in general. “Our goal this year is to get people to look at ways they can reduce their waste, and reuse,” Troyer said.
The theme of Recyclemania this week is Refill. The Office of Sustainability reported that this year over 51,084 water bottles have been kept from the landfill due to the water bottle refill station in Eisenhower commons. Refilling goes along with the overall idea of reducing because it’s focused on finding ways to eliminate waste, rather than just recycling it afterward. “I think we are oblivious to the fact that we have a single-use culture when it comes to waste,” Troyer said.
To further inspire reducing waste, for the month of March a cup of coffee is only $1.25 if you bring your own mug to the Union, Falcon or Café Diem.