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May 03, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

Competition produces record recyclables

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -RecyleMania, a friendly competition between Slippery Rock University housing students to promote waste reduction, helped wrap-up "Earth Days 2013."

The program, which came to an end last week, challenged each housing unit to see which one could recycle the most plastics, glass bottles, paper products and cans, said Paul Scanlon, special assistant to the president for sustainability.

Residence Hall C won the contest. Scanlon said students in "C" collected 45.3 pounds per student for the week. For their efforts, the students were treated to a pizza party.

Rock Apartments placed second with 27.2 pounds per student, followed by Residence Hall B at 17.6 pounds per student; Residence Hall E collected 17.3 pounds; Residence Hall D 16.3 pounds; Residence Hall F 16.1 pounds; North Hall at 6.0 pounds; and Rhodes Hall 4.9 pounds.

Scanlon said Residence Hall C students won because they collected the most paper products, including newspapers, which weigh more than plastic bottles.

Students helped pack up the trash in blue bags for shipment to a recycling company that manufactures products from recycled material, Scanlon said.

Overall the students collected a combined 515 pounds of recyclables.

"RecycleMania was a success again this year, but the Office of Sustainability would like to 'ramp it up' more next year," Scanlon said. "Recycling is a great and easy thing to do, but it's actually the lowest rung on the waste minimization ladder - the best thing you can do for the environment is the first of the 'new 3Rs - reduce."

One of the lessons of RecycleMania is if don't really need something, don't buy it. "If you really, really need it, buy something that's durable, that will last a long time, like buying a stainless steel water bottle instead of a plastic bottle," Scanlon said.

The second best thing to do is to reuse - as in reusing that stainless steel water bottle by refilling it over and over again at one of the filtered water fountains located on campus, he said. Some people also like to use their imagination to "repurpose" things, like making a reusable shopping bag from an old pair of jeans.

"Lastly, recycle what you can't reuse any more," Scanlon said.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.