UCSB is in its second week of Recyclemania, a quarter-long recycling competition aimed to promote environmental education on college campuses nationwide.
This is UCSB’s third year participating in the ten-week competition against nearly 600 other universities, including every UC campus except Berkeley, Merced and San Francisco. UCSB will compete in all five of the competition’s recycling categories including ‘Grand Champion,’ which compares a participating university’s trash and recycling to calculate what percentage of the total waste is recycled.
The first two weeks of this year’s Recyclemania are considered “trial weeks” during which recycling efforts are nonbinding and do not affect a campus’ overall score.
Though UCSB participated in the contest last year, the campus diversion rate — the amount of waste that is recycled instead of being sent to landfills — actually decreased during the competition.
The Associated Students Recycling Committee will manage participation in the competition and plan to promote the competition more this week as the trial comes to a close.
Additionally, campus organizations will present displays and hold events to encourage recycling efforts throughout the competition. Last week, the Program for the Assessment and Certification for the Environment and Sustainability created a tree-shaped sculpture from cups collected from Davidson Library’s wastebaskets.
A.S. Community Environmental Coordinator Taylor Fulton, a second-year environmental science major, said the committee will bring Recyclemania events to the dormitories for the first time.
“The committee has collaborated with the [Residence Hall Association] and the environmental chairs of the residence halls to plan events and bring the festivities directly to the residents,” Fulton said.
Fulton said dorms will compete against one another to recycle the most waste for five of Recyclemania’s ten weeks.
Sarah Richman, an A.S. recycling committee vice chair and fourth-year environmental science and business economics major, said UCSB’s goal for the competition goes beyond winning.
“It’s all about forming habits for the students at UCSB,” Richman said. “We hope that the recycling routines that students get into during the duration of the competition last beyond its completion.”
Recyclemania organizers also invite students from participating colleges to submit videos documenting their love for recycling on Valentine’s Day. The winning videographer’s university will be given a $500 grand prize for their recycling program.