Thursday, April 26, 2012

PLU places in recycling competition

By Rhianna Gelhart, Guest Writer

Pacific Lutheran University took second place in Washington State for RecycleMania last weekend.

RecycleMania is a 10-week competition comprised of 605 colleges and universities competing for the best waste diversion. All the waste from each school is measured by the percentage of waste that leaves the school in a sustainable way.

“We took fifteenth in the nation,” said head coordinator of RecycleMania Princess Reese. “That also includes Canada.”

PLU reduced 40 metric tons of CO2 gas, the equivalent of taking 21 cars off the road or enough energy to power 11 households. That’s quite a difference.

Two years ago, PLU was in the same competition and took 54th place.

Sustainability Director Chrissy Cooley said she was impressed with the performance this year.   

“To go from fifty-fourth place to fifteenth in just two years is huge,” said Cooley, “It really is the campus that earned the high rankings in this competition.

In order to enter into the competition, all of the waste that comes from PLU was picked up from each building, weighed, and sorted by hand.

“Everyone had a big hand in weighing all of the trash,” said Reese, “It was a huge group effort.”

Student Leader of the Sustainability Department Sean Andrascik has only been a member of the Department said he enjoys the involvement it brings with campus life.

“I volunteered last spring to Chrissy to help recycle,” said Andrascik, “it just took off from there and every day it is a learning experience and great involvement in campus life.”

“Everyone is a part of sustainability here at PLU,” said Reese, “It begins with using the recycling bins that are in your room.”