The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The maniacs attack! Recyclemania returns to Guilford

Reduce, reuse, Recyclemania. Recyclemania is an annual contest which lasts from February through March. Over 400 colleges and universities nationwide — including Guilford — will compete to see which one recycles the most waste.

“We ‘re submitting results of measured landfill waste,” said David Petree, director of environmental sustainability, via email. “Food waste and electronic waste. Each of these categories are measured by weight and the results are posted weekly on the Recyclemania web page.”

According to, Recyclemania began in January 2001, as a challenge between Ohio University and Miami University. The two schools decided to take advantage of the existing sports rivalry and challenged each other to see who could recycle the most.

“I believe that any time you can use fun and competition as a part of changing behavior, people respond in a more positive way,” said Kyle Dell, associate professor of political science, via email.

“This is demonstrated again and again in public polling literature and environmental psychology,” continued Dell. “At a certain point, people suffer from apathy fatigue if they are assaulted by negative messages regarding the environment and our capacity to affect change.”

Guilford has already done a lot to affect positive change to the environment around the campus.

“We do a lot of cool things at Guilford about recycling,” said  Kim Yarbray, project and communication manager and passionate environmentalist.

“We have one of the most advanced compost systems in the area, along with a group called TerraCycle, doing innovative things like recycling candy wrappers, which is something that is not done in Greensboro,” continued Yarbray.

Even though Guilford is innovating many practices to make it a much greener college, it cannot be a truly green college without the involvement of its student body.

Students can help in many ways. One of them is an upcoming dumpster dive, which senior Alexis Goldman and Farm Coordinator Jim Dees are organizing later this semester.

Students can also contact Goldman at [email protected] to become a part of the EcoRoom Initiative, which offers personal energy audits and educational opportunities regarding sustainability.

“The institution does a great job of making recycling easy for students and staff by providing trash and recycling cans in all rooms, but we cannot truly be a sustainable campus if the community members are not involved,” Goldman said. “We need students to separate their trash in their dorm rooms.”

According to Goldman, by separating their trash and recyclable items students reduce the amount of waste going to the landfills. Landfills are extremely hazardous to human health as well as the environment, but waste can be reduced with more people involved.

“The easiest and most exciting way students can help Guilford become a more environmentally friendly college is to innovate, imagine, and dream,” Yarbray said. “It would be amazing if we could think about the first ‘R,’ which is reducing, by buying items in bulk when we can so we can avoid all the extra packaging. You buy a freaking flash drive and it is in a 14 oz. petroleum bubble wrap, which cannot be recycled. It is not smart.”

As a college, Guilford already recycles a huge quantity of trash. Those involved hope that Recyclemania will demonstrate the value of recycling to the rest of the country.

“I think (Recyclemania) is wonderful because it highlights a practice we should be doing all year, but it also gives Guilford a chance to show up other colleges on our environmentally responsible campus,” Goldman said. “Since we’ve reduced the amount of waste going to landfills by 55 percent in 2010, which ranked us first in the state, I would say we definitely have some major bragging rights as well as (wanting) to keep our reputation up there at the top.”

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  • Z

    ZakirMar 14, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    Most people want to be eco-friendly but for the most part at least crulentry sometimes going green technlogoy is not financially a good idea crulentry.I have looked at eco-friendly and green technology alternatives like igo green charger and have adapted where it makes financial sense. So far I have also installed solar panels on my home but while looking for a electric car I find the cost doesnt justify it for me. While I am passionate about making green choices and opting for green technology whenever possible it is up to people like you and I to spread awareness and let the companies know there is a demand. Your website looks popular and I think you can help influence society with your insight and green technology tips. By the way I found your site by searching What does reduce, reuse, recycle mean? | Eco Friendly Living and you were the first result. So I think your website is a perfect platform to discuss ideas that are thought provoking to help influence your readers to go green. Good luck with your site, you deserve all the success! Please continue to talk about more eco-tips/green tech, every idea helps us get closer day by day!