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Stetson University Takes 3rd Place in National RecycleMania

| April 18, 2011

Stetson mania: The 2011 RecycleMania team with Coca-Cola Recycling President John Burgess. Front row from left are Elizabeth Curry, Katherine Miller, Robyn Blackman and Arielle Mohammed. Back row, from left: Donna Loftus, Collin Dougher, Burgess, Anthony Riley and Daniel Lozada. (Stetson University)

Stetson University placed first in paper and third in the Grand Championship during the nationwide RecycleMania 2011 competition, in a field of 288 colleges and universities. Stetson placed fifth overall in the nation last year, and ninth in the paper category.

Stetson is in prominent company in the Top 5, with California State University – San Marcos claiming the Grand Champion prize for the sixth time in a row followed by Antioch University Seattle. Loyola Marymount University and New Mexico State University finished in fourth and fifth.

“We took first place in the Targeted Paper category, which we owe to our library for its contributions,” said Stetson Recycling Coordinator Donna Loftus. “Our third place in Grand Championship category was primarily due to Stetson’s food service, with Sodexo coming on board and becoming part of our recycling efforts. My work-study team of students was really involved in promoting and working together for a campus-wide effort to reduce, reuse and recycle.”

RecycleMania is a friendly competition for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. This year, several hundred colleges and universities participated, representing 6 million students and more than 1.5 million staff and faculty.

Over a 10-week period, schools reported recycling and trash data which were then ranked according to who collected the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or had the highest recycling rate. With each week’s reports and rankings, participating schools watched how their results fluctuated against other schools and used this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.

Overall this year, 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which prevented the release of nearly 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. This reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from more than 52.8 million passenger cars; electricity use of more than 32.7 million homes; or the burning of nearly 1.5 million railcars’ worth of coal.

Loftus has had a positive impact not only on the Stetson community, but her recycling crew. Sophomore team member Daniel Lozada said, “Ever since I started working in the Recycling Department under Mrs. Donna Loftus, I have learned a great deal of how I can give back to the community and save some of our most precious resources.”

RecycleMania motivates Stetson students to work harder and achieve results more effectively and efficiently. Work-study students look forward to working in the recycling department for the remainder of their college years and being involved in RecycleMania.

“RecycleMania makes recycling on campus very exciting,” student Arielle Mohammed said. “I look forward to it year after year because we are setting goals for ourselves.”

RecycleMania began in February 2001 and is a project of the College and University Recycling Council (CURC). RecycleMania believes participation in the competition familiarizes students with a campus’s environmental programs and hopefully instills a life-long habit of recycling in students. Past surveys that the CURC has conducted, indicated 80 percent of participating schools experienced a noticeable increase in recycling collection during the competition.

Top schools in each category earn bragging rights, while the winners of each are recognized with an award made of recycled glass.

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