According to Sheri Bossong, environmental club president, conservation is more than recycling bottles. (FRANCIS YU / THE STATESMAN)
According to Sheri Bossong, environmental club president, conservation is more than recycling bottles. (FRANCIS YU / THE STATESMAN)

Recyclemania 2013 is underway for the spring semester at Stony Brook. The 8-week competition, which runs from Feb. 3 through March 30, is both a nation-wide competition between more than 600 colleges and a battle between Stony Brook’s undergraduate colleges.

According to a press release by the university, last year, Stony Brook ranked 17th out of the 296 entries, and hopes for a similar outcome this semester.

The goal of Recyclemania is simple: reduce waste and increase recycling. Recycling efforts are scored from one to five, depending on how the material was recycled. For example, a recycled can will earn one point, while a cleaned and crushed can will receive five points.

Tesia Moore, a sophomore studying environmental science, works under the Office of Sustainability and is doing outreach for Recyclemania.

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“Our ultimate goal is to change habits,” Moore said about the program. She and other outreach members have been going to hall council meetings to get students informed on recyclemania and recycling in general.  While making their rounds around the dorms, they are taking “white board pledges” where students pledge to do something sustainable.

“It is a reminder of what you should be doing,” Moore said.

Another initiative for students to lead a more sustainable lifestyle is a photo contest during Recyclemania.

New winning photos are selected each week, and winners are awarded a $50 Wolfie Wallet gift card.

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The president of Stony Brook’s environmental club, Sheri Bossong, explained that the purpose of Recyclemania is not to go out and buy more bottles to recycle, but to stop buying these materials.

“It is about reducing waste,” she said.

Moore agrees. “We are thinking about rebranding Recyclemania where there is more waste reduction to begin with,” she said.

However, not all Stony Brook students are excited about Recyclemania.

Detrick Kaiser, a junior geology major, said that he did not know what Recyclemania was and did not have any interest in participating in it even though he does recycle.

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“I’m not interested in being in a competition,” he said.

As far as what the university is doing to recycle, Moore said that the university recently switched from recycling only 1 and 2 plastics to recycling plastics numbered 1 through 7 and cardboard as well.

The outreach staff is also working with faculty to promote e-cycling, which involves electronic waste such as toner cartridges and old cell phones.

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