By Valerie Bustamante
LOGOS STAFF WRITER
In order to promote the importance of recycling, the University of the Incarnate Word once again participated in the nationwide competition RecycleMania 2014.
RecycleMania is a two-month competition where college campuses around the United States mark down the amount of recycled products that have been collected, eventually being ranked in various categories. UIW has been a part of RecycleMania since 2010
“It’s so important for students to be exposed to recycle-culture at such a critical time in their lives: college,” said Justin A. Guerrero, chair of the event.
“It allows good habits to be formed that are more important than the consensus. In fact, it’s critical for our planet that some resources be recycled back into the usable system. Because humans use so many materials in our everyday life, it’s a good idea to model after nature and recycle our materials to use again and again. This way, less natural resources are utilized and less energy is used processing them. The easy answer is that we encourage students to be aware of alternative disposal methods everywhere they are.”
The goal behind RecycleMania is to raise the tonnage of recycled materials in the university. The figures then are reported to the national stage and are converted into metrics, and then tons of C02 is saved from entering the atmosphere. The figures of recycled material will be based on the amount of recycled goods between Feb. 2 and March 2.
“Our goal is ultimately aimed at integrating sustainable practices within the heart of campus culture across the United States,” Guerrero said. “UIW is an ideal candidate for the program because it’s small, communal, and full of forward-thinking academics.”
Recycle bins are located across campus where students and faculty can recycle proper items. Around each academic building are skinny blue totes known as comingled bins because they accept all recycled materials except Styrofoam. The to-go boxes students and faculty get from the cafeteria are an example of what cannot be disposed in the blue totes.
“Styrofoam is a complex polymer which can’t naturally be broken down by melting, and thus isn’t generally accepted,” Guerrero said. “Proper sorting of these prior to disposal would really help out our awesome housekeeping staff. In our residence halls, the recycle bins are much larger green totes found near the trash. Students are encouraged to dispose of their post-party materials here in good conscience.
“I do like participating in RecycleMania a lot and am glad it is part of our tradition. All the other main universities in San Antonio take part in it so it makes sense we’re in it too. The honest truth is that we’re a lot smaller than other in-town universities, but are nonetheless a chief contender based on our spirit and competitiveness. And even if we lose, we win. If we increase the amount of goods recycled in this semester as compared to the last, we win on principle alone.”