Bowling Green State University has promoted recycling for many years because it reduces waste, conserves natural resources, prevents pollution, and saves energy. To further support recycling the university participates in RecycleMania. RecycleMania is a friendly competition among college and university recycling programs in the United States & Canada that has been going on since 2001. BGSU has participated in this competition for that entire time. The program was administered by the Sierra Club but starting this year, for the first time, it was sponsored by the National Wildlife Foundation with the goal of reducing all waste entirely, including recycling. This means that each campus must track the amount of recycling it produces and compare it to the waste stream that cannot go to recycling. Each year, BGSU competes on a national level, while also hosting an on-campus competition to see which residence hall can recycle the most waste. Our goal for this year is break into the top 100 college campuses in North America.
To help us reach this goal, we have reached out to various organizations across the university to spread the word and participate. Also, we have hosted an array of events to promote recycling and educate students on how to properly recycle. Some of the events that the Office of Campus Sustainability has hosted are Pizza for Recycling, the Recycle-Cycle, Know before You Throw, and Caught Green Handed. Pizza for Recycling allows students to trade their room recyclables for slices of pizza. Students can also win campus gift cards if they are caught recycling by Campus Sustainability staff; this is known as the “Caught Green Handed” initiative. The Recycle-Cycle is a trivia game that test students’ knowledge on proper recycling. These events typically happen within residence halls or in the Bowen-Thompson Student Union. The most successful residence halls, though, are those that carry out their own recycling programs outside of the programming provided by Campus Sustainability. While RecycleMania officially ends on March 30th we always encourage our community to educate and participate in recycling, year-round, since waste reduction and resource conservation is a major sustainability goal of BGSU.