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Cavanaugh wins RecycleMania

Emma Driscoll | Monday, April 14, 2008

Cavanaugh Hall captured first place in Notre Dame’s inter-dorm recycling competition – part of the 10-week-long RecycleMania competition between 400 colleges and universities nationwide. This was the first time that Notre Dame participated in RecycleMania.

Cavanaugh won by collecting 81.36 pounds per capita of recyclables, according to Recyclin’ Irish president and RecycleMania coordinator Ann Kelley. St. Edward’s Hall came in second with 72.31 pounds per capita, and Walsh took third with 65.73 pounds per capita.

As part of the competition, students took recyclables out of campus trash cans and from other dorms – a factor in Cavanaugh’s win, according to the dorm’s environmental commissioner Sarah Cline.

“I am so excited and so happy that we won because everyone in the dorm put so much work into it,” she said. “We went on raids and really tried to get everybody involved. I know everyone here was really happy about it.”

Cline said Cavanaugh generated a lot of awareness through emails and posters and created enthusiasm by highlighting the competitive aspect of RecycleMania.

“We put posters everywhere and we sent out e-mails,” she said. “We really promoted the competition side of it. There was the general consensus that we did not want to lose to Farley, so people were really excited about that.”

In addition to the inter-dorm competition, Kelley said Notre Dame also participated in the Stephen K. Gatski Per Capita Classic Competition – the original RecycleMania competition in which schools compete to see who can collect the most acceptable recyclables per person.

Kelley said Notre Dame collected 31 pounds per person of recyclables over the 10-week period according to RecycleMania’s Web site.

While she admitted that doing well in the competition was important, Kelley said she was more focused on informing the student body about Notre Dame’s new single stream recycling program.

“Just this past year, [Notre Dame] switched over,” Kelley said. “You don’t need to sort your recyclables anymore. Anywhere on campus at Notre Dame, you can throw all of your recyclables into one bin.”

Kelley said she hopes participation in RecycleMania becomes a tradition at Notre Dame.

“We’re hoping that this will continue on every year. It will be a tradition, and maybe we can start branching out to other buildings on campus and even, if we ever bring composting to Notre Dame… we could integrate that and see how much food waste we could compost because other schools do that,” Kelley said.

RecycleMania was sponsored by the Energy and Environmental Issues Committee and Notre Dame Student Government.