PHILADELPHIA -- The University of Pennsylvania is joining more than 400 colleges and universities participating in RecycleMania, a competition for faculty, staff and students designed to encourage both recycling and waste minimization.
Until March 28, campuses will compete in different contests to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per person, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per person and have the highest recycling rate.
Penn currently recycles approximately 18-20 percent of its waste with the goal of reaching 30 percent in waste diversion this year. During the competition, there will be events and publicity campaigns aimed at increasing awareness and educating members of the Penn community about recycling and waste management.
“The real objective is to engage a large and diverse population of faculty, students and staff to communicate how our behavior is relevant to our success as a sustainable institution,” Anne Papageorge, vice president of facilities and real estate services, said. “It truly is a pledge for all of us to make a necessary cultural shift in our everyday activities.”
Beginning with a kickoff lecture and discussion at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 29, in Houston Hall’s Class of ’49 Auditorium, the Green Campus Partnership, in collaboration with the Penn Environmental Group, will host Mark Alan Hughes, director of the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, who will speak on how Penn and the city are working towards a sustainable future.
In addition, all community members are invited to participate in a recyclable-art contest as well as put their creative talent to green use by entering Penn’s RecycleMania video competition. Other events include a film series at the Penn Bookstore and a ‘Trash Talk’ panel discussion with key players in the campus recycling process, along with ongoing coffee and soda giveaways when participants bring their own reusable mugs to various establishments.
At Penn, RecycleMania is a collaborative effort between University groups under the Green Campus Partnership umbrella, including Business Services, College Houses and Academic Services, Facilities and Real Estate Services, the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly, the Penn Environmental Group and the Undergraduate Assembly.
The national RecycleMania program is supported by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WasteWise program and the National Recycling Coalition and is coordinated as a project of the coalition’s College and University Recycling Council.
Additional information on RecycleMania events, tracking weekly recycling totals and recycling at Penn is available at upenn.edu/recyclemania or by -mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about Penn’s plans for a sustainable future is available at upenn.edu/sustainability.