Recyclemania Fair showcases sustainability initiatives

March 28, 2013

Most of us are familiar with the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” campaign. Out of these three R’s, recycle often garners the most attention when, in fact, effective environmental change depends on a combination of reducing consumption, reusing or repurposing waste, and finally, recycling what cannot be reused.

The Recyclemania Fair in Lodge 1 was held on March 20th to demonstrate the commitment of William & Mary Dining to sustainability on campus. William & Mary is in the midst of a heated battle with schools across the US and Canada during the eight-week long Recyclemania competition. Each school reports the amount of recycling and trash collected every week and is ranked based on several categories: most recycled per capita, best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste, and the least amount of combined trash and recycling. You can view William and Mary’s performance on recyclemaniacs.org. Six weeks into the competition, William and Mary leads Virginia schools with a weekly recycling rate of 50%.

The purpose of the Recyclemania fair was twofold. The first was to raise awareness of the competition. Students and faculty were invited to sign a Recyclemania banner to pledge their support for recycling on campus. Sustainability Interns Michael Curcio ’15, Colleen Swingle ’14, and Wesley Meyer ’15 answered students’ inquiries about the competition, about what to recycle, and about where to recycle different wastes on campus.

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Secondly, the Recyclemania Fair served as a platform to engage the community in other sustainability initiatives. Chip Hall, the General Manager of Natural Organic Processes Enterprises (NOPE) informed students about the College’s composting program to reuse food wastes. Students could also compost to-go lunch containers in bins placed around Lodge 1. Sustainability Intern Rebecca Starr ’13 along with Dining Services staff demonstrated creative ways to recycle old magazines into colorful envelopes, pinwheels and gift bows. Free reusable utensils and mugs encouraged students to reduce their need for these common disposable items. Furthermore, the fair hosted a food demonstration to communicate Dining Services’ commitment to local farmers. Chef Kirk James transformed local heirloom tomatoes and homegrown basil into a delectable caprese salad.

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Did you attend the Recyclemania Fair? Would you like to learn more? Dining Services would love to hear from you! You can connect with us through Facebook at W&M Dining, Twitter @WMDining, or email dining@wm.edu. Happy reducing, reusing, and recycling!

-Huan Song, Dining Sustainability Intern

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Welcome to Hark Upon the Green! This blog is a shared space for members of the sustainability community at William & Mary to write about sustainability topics on and beyond. If you would like to contribute to the blog, contact Madeleine Boel, Committee on Sustainability Web Assistant, at mgboel@email.wm.edu.
Make sure to visit Sustainability at W&M for all of W&M's progress on sustainability efforts. Catch up with William & Mary Sustainability on Twitter at WM_GreenisGold
To learn what William & Mary's Environmental Law Society is up to, visit their blog at http://envirols.blogs.wm.edu/.

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