RAPID CITY, S.D. (March 4, 2013) - Pairing sustainable practice with public outreach, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology students have partnered with three local middle schools - Southwest, North and East - to foster a friendly competition from March 4-15, challenging students to use less and recycle more.
The contest cuts across disciplines, as student groups as diverse as Circle K International, a community service organization, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers have offered their time and expertise to impart the importance of sustainable practices.
And to the victor go the spoils: The school which recycles the most per capita will take home a trophy. Jerilyn Roberts, director of Campus Environmental Health & Safety, hopes this contest will be the first of many, with the traveling trophy anointing next year's recycling star.
The competition is situated as part of a larger effort called RecycleMania, a nationwide campaign and benchmarking tool pitting more than 600 universities against each other to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities - which Mines has participated in six years running. Over an eight-week period each spring, colleges across the United States and Canada report the amount of trash and recycling collected each week and are then ranked in various categories: which university recycles the most on a per capita basis, boasts the best recycling rate and generates the least amount of trash and recycling combined.
The most recent 2011 competition included 630 colleges from 49 states and four Canadian provinces. Over 7.5 million students, faculty and staff participated, collectively recycling 91 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials. This activity helped to prevent the release of 127,553 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, commensurate to the greenhouse gas emissions of 25,000 passenger cars or the electricity use of more than 15,500 homes.