January 31, 2014 9:00 AM
Imagine your favorite Tulane T-shirt, cup or key chain. Would you guess that it was once a plastic bottle? Later this year, many products found at the Tulane University Bookstore will have been created by a company that breaks down recyclables and makes them into clean, usable filaments.
Residence halls can compete for awards for most recycling, least garbage and greatest electricity savings per person. While the residence hall challenge keeps things local, it is only a small part of the nationwide RecycleMania, a competition in which universities compete to collect the most recyclable material. It is the seventh year that Tulane University has participated in the national competition.
“The prize for the winning residence hall is a sustainable smorgasbord,” says Colleen Large of the Office of Sustainability. “It’s an outdoor party for the entire dorm with food.”
The campus offices will rely on building captains (volunteers from each residence hall) to reach out to residents and facilitate the process.
Anyone interested in volunteering as a building captain, email RecycleMania.
RecycleMania was designed to foster community growth and to inspire students to think about recycling and energy use.
“Tulane currently recycles 10–15 percent of our waste,” Large says. “The U.S. average is 34.7 percent, so there’s a lot of room for improvement.”
The Office of Sustainability has been working to make recycling easier.
“We’re trying to encourage people to use — and to know how to use — these systems,” Large says. Students may be the missing piece of the recycling puzzle, she adds.
Information about recycling at Tulane can be found at recycle.tulane.edu.
Jamie Logan is a first-year Newcomb/Tulane College student.
Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org