Hannah Chesley/The Bona Venture: St. Bonaventure University is encouraging students to recycle more often with a competition between residence halls throughout the month of March.

Recyclemania promotes friendly competition


By Heather Monahan
Staff writer

The grass isn’t going to be the only thing turning green on campus in the next few weeks. Students and others around St. Bonaventure will have their own unique chance to help the environment.

Recyclemania, which began March 5, runs until March 30.

Sister Suzanne Kush, C.S.S.F., director of the Franciscan Center for Social Concern, is in charge of the event and said Recyclemania is a competition that takes place every spring semester on college campuses across the nation to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.

The competition is simple; each college weighs the amount of recyclable materials saved on its campus and enters its score electronically every week. However, St. Bonaventure will be modifying this competition.

In order to create a benchmark for the amount students recycle, the committee behind Recyclemania chose Shay-Loughlen halls, with a total of 168 residents, and Devereux Hall, with 295 residents, to keep track of their recycled materials.

According to Sister Suzanne, the committee selected these two because the materials from these residence halls are kept separate from other buildings on campus. The amount of students living in these residence halls was another deciding factor.

The building with the most recyclable materials overall will win a prize.

ARAMARK, the campus food-service provider, is the third party involved in St. Bonaventure’s Recyclemania competition. The corporation has been weighing the recyclable materials it has accumulated. Between the three groups, Sister Suzanne predicts the benchmark set will be met easily.

Recycling on the Bonaventure campus does not have the best reputation.

According to Casella Waste Management Services, the campus only recycles 12 percent of  its waste. The goal is to raise this to 20 percent by 2013.

“If the entire campus community is more conscious, the goal will be easily reached,” Sister Suzanne said.

Sister Suzanne added she believes once awareness spreads on campus through the competitions and other events,  then the next step will be students taking action.

She also said the two residence halls involved in the competition will provide a clear indication about what will happen in other places on campus.

“This is raising not only awareness of recycling, but the moral responsibility we have to care for our earth,” Sister Suzanne said.

This project relates to the Franciscan values the school upholds, according to Sister Suzanne. Francis of Assisi was the patron saint of ecology and oversaw the environment.

“By recycling, we’re upholding the moral obligation we have to care for our home, the Earth,” said Sister Suzanne.

The maintenance staff, the housing staff, the Sustainability Coordinating Committee and Tread Lightly are all involved in the recycling project.

Tread Lightly’s president, senior biology major Sinead Coleman, stressed the importance of spreading awareness about recycling.

“Gaining knowledge of recycling opens our mind to the global world we live in,” she said.

Coleman said the world is beginning to lack resources while energy is becoming extremely important.

“We need to start rethinking the way we make things.”

One of Recyclemania’s events is a Kan Jam competition,  called Can Clash, which will be held next Friday from 4-6 p.m. on the Hickey lawn.

In order to enter the competition, students must donate a bag of recyclables. Prizes will be awarded to the winners of the competition.

Coleman said she believes with basketball season now over, Recyclemania, as well as the Kan Jam competition, will bring energy back to the campus with the competition between the residence halls.

Coleman suggested students who want to get involved in recycling should make the competitions fun.

“Can Clash is made to get the school excited about spring and the environment,” Coleman said.

She also had tips for students outside of Recyclemania.

“If you want to get into recycling, find a recycling bin around you and feed it with all your paper, cans and glass,” Coleman said. “If you don’t have one within a 100-foot radius of you, demand it.”

Students can even attend a Recyclemania presentation put on by Casella Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Walsh Amphitheater.

Tread Lightly will also be doing a door-to-door pledge campaign in residence halls, where students can pledge to recycle.