Campus embarks on recycling challenge

WALTHAM, Mass. — In an effort to improve campus recycling rates, Brandeis is taking part in RecycleMania 2009, a friendly competition among hundreds of college and university recycling programs across the country. During the 10-week competition, Brandeis hopes to double its recycling rate of just 8 percent in January 2009.

Brandeis can easily reach that goal by "drinking responsibly," according to Campus Sustainability Coordinator Janna Cohen-Rosenthal. A waste audit of campus trash in November 2008 revealed that more than 40 percent of one day's waste could have been recycled. Drink containers were the most common items found in the trash.

Community members are encouraged to reduce their use of bottled water and other disposable containers like paper coffee cups, which are not recyclable because of their plastic coating. Opt for reusable mugs or bottles. Community members using mugs at Aramark locations on campus will only be charged for a small coffee, regardless of the mug size. When recycling, empty the remaining liquid and place the container in any labeled recycling bin on campus, even those with "paper type" lids. All recyclable materials are collected together at Brandeis. Offices are also encouraged to save resources by reducing paper use.

More than 500 schools are participating in this year's RecycleMania competition, which is administered by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC). If Brandeis reaches its recycling goal of 16 percent in March, the school will save money, protect resources and get a free ice cream on Earth Day courtesy of Aramark.

For more information, visit the Brandeis Recyclemania Web site or contact Campus Sustainability Coordinator Janna Cohen-Rosenthal at or 781-736-4194.

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