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UWGB goes green with Recyclemania

Andrew Campnell, News Writer
February 27, 2013
Filed under News

Though the snow outside is making things white, UW-Green Bay will be busy being green.

From Feb. 3 to March 30, the campus is taking part in Recyclemania, an eight-week competition with other schools where sustainability is the name of the game.

The competition — aimed at motivating students to recycle and reduce waste — is held between universities across the country. The goals are simple: recycle the most and reduce the overall production of waste.

UWGB has participated in Recyclemania for the past four years as a requirement of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment.

In 2007, then UWGB Chancellor Bruce Shepard signed the ACUPCC to commit the university to become more sustainable. Shepard pledged to do greenhouse gas inventories, have a climate action plan in place and participate in Recyclemania.

“ACUPCC is one of the drivers for Recyclemania,” said Laurie Case, UWGB sustainability and strategic planning coordinator. “It’s a good program to reinforce recycling on campus.”

Case said students will be competing with other students in colleges across the country in three categories: Grand Champion, Per Capita Classic and Waste Minimization.

Grand Champion deals with overall recycling rate, the Per Capita Classic looks at the pounds per capita of waste and recycling UWGB regenerates, and Waste Minimization looks at the overall production of waste.

While Recyclemania has been a regular presence at UWGB over the last four years, Case said it’s been tough to get students involved in the event.

To help boost awareness, the university will host special events from March 4-8 to help its Recyclemania efforts.

Weekly results from the competition will continue to be posted online at the UWGB Sustainability Blog. The organization also started a page on Facebook page in January as well.

Aside from Recyclemania, UWGB is taking additional steps to increase sustainability across campus.

The new lighting UWGB’s Facilities Planning and Management department installed could help UWGB’s sustainability cause.

The project took two and a half years to complete, with most of the time devoted to planning and applying for funding, said Facilities Planning and Management Director Paul Pinkston. The project was completed last semester.

New lights were put in the Kress Events Center’s gym and pool-side room, University Union and Christie Theatre.

Pinkston said the new fixtures not only are more cost-effective and give UWGB a newer look, but are also higher in quality and more sustainable than the previous lights.

“The pool light is a 100,000-hour lamp, so we shouldn’t have to change it for at least 13 to 15 years,” Pinkston said.

With the new lighting fixtures on campus and with Recyclemania coming soon, the people of UWGB hope to refine the Eco U name it’s been given.

“If we want to maintain our forward motion on being an environmentally conscious and sound university, participating in Recyclemania is a good awareness-building option,” Case said.

However, Case said that’s not to say the campus should only be recycling for the upcoming eight weeks of competition.

Outside of Recyclemania, Case and the UWGB Sustainability Committee are involved with the student organization Public and Environmental Affairs Committee.

The Student Government Association’s environmental affairs group is also involved in managing the Student Sustainability Fund and soliciting ideas for enhancing sustainability on campus.

“They were the drivers behind getting four of the Hydration Stations purchased and installed on campus,” Case said.

For more information on Recyclemania and sustainability efforts on campus, visit UWGB Sustainability at blog.uwgb.edu/sustainability or Facebook at facebook.com/uwgb-sustainability.

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