What is Recyclemania? Why is it important for Xavier University to be part of it? Recyclemania is a competition that serves as a benchmarking tool for university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities for their campuses. Over a 10-week period, participating institutions report their waste and recycling data, which are then compiled and ranked. The goal is to foster friendly competition and increase recycling participation by students and staff.

Xavier has often been referred to as a small city within a city. As such, we consume large amounts of resources and generate much solid waste. Recyclemania recognizes that environmental messages alone don?t always motivate action, so the event provides a format all students can understand: Beat the crosstown rival. Recyclemania administrators report that past surveys have shown a noticeable increase in recycling collection (as much as 80 percent) during the competition. The College and University Recycling Council, the National Recycling Coalition and the Environmental Protection Agency support the event. It's also a mandate in the President's Climate Control Commitment initiative.

However, the most important reason for Xavier to participate is to lower the waste generated on campus by reducing, reusing and recycling. There are huge opportunities for us to do more, specifically in terms of paper usage. Also it's fiscally responsible to reduce, reuse and recycle it costs Xavier much more to have waste hauled away on campus.

So how can I participate, you ask? Simply recycle. We strive to make recycling as easy as we can on campus. If you see the need for a recycle container or think we are missing an opportunity let us know at 513-745-3151.

Student Life and Leadership recently sponsored a "Waste Not Wednesday" event that was very successful in support of Recyclemania. We would like to expand these efforts campus-wide in the coming weeks. For example, there is a call to our student newspaper to consider doing a green issue highlighting the sustainable wins on our campus and throughout the greater city of Cincinnati. There are other activities in the planning stages to support Recyclemania leading up to Earth Day. These activities will foster further reduction, reusing, and recycling goals. We will update activities through our new weekly e-news here at Xavier in effort to engage the entire community.

Finally I would like to echo the thoughts of Ben Urmston, S.J., in regards to recycling. His mantra has been that nobody can do all the recycling that is needed, but we can all do something. Please challenge yourselves to recycle as much as you can, not only for the 10-week Recyclemania competition, but to improve quality of life for the generations that come after us.

Stacy Decker
Physical Plant