Every bottle counts

In 2009, Northern Kentucky University recycled over 190 tons of material, according to NKU’s Annual Recycling Activities Report. Among items collected were paper, plastic bottles, videotapes, copper and scrap metal. Paper and cardboard ranked near the top by weight collected.

Charles Pettit, superintendent of Custodial Services at NKU, says that recycling has been taking place at NKU since the 1980s. The program has grown to encompass approximately 200 recycling collection points around campus. The program also employs full time recycling employees.

“It becomes very infectious,” Pettit said.

One of the hurdles in recycling is the tendency of users to just toss stuff in the first round hole they see, Pettit said.

He also said that it is not as bad as when the recy- cling program first started. He owed this in part to a new generation of knowledgeable recyclers coming up in every freshman class and a focus on educating people already at the university.

An integral part of the recycling education process is NKUs participation in RecycleMania.

RecycleMania began in 2001 as a competition between Ohio University and Miami (OH) University and was a means for the two schools to find out who could recycle more in a ten week period, which Miami (OH) was victorious in. Seven years later, NKU participated in the competition for the first time as one of 400 schools.

RecycleMania 2010 is intended to help educate students and staff about recycling and reducing their waste.

Even though RecycleMania will end on March 27, students and staff should continue the idea of RecycleMania in their everyday lives.

“People have to start owning it,” said Larry Blake, assistant vice president of Facilities Management.

Jane Goode, coordinator for Campus Space and Planning, said that one way we can help every day is to use less and recycle more. It would be nearly impossible for every person to be 100 percent green, 100 percent of the time, but it is the little things that can make a big difference in the end.

“Find the thing that will work for you,” Goode said. “And we can all do something.”

Some suggestions Goode made were: use the stairs instead of the elevators, unplug the TV and peripheral chargers, use a reusable coffee mug or water bottle and use the UPass system, which allows NKU students to ride anywhere on TANK bus routes for free with their All Card.

This year, RecycleMania will offer a video competition to help promote recycling and green living. The winning video will receive a prize and will be used in orientation to help promote the idea of Green NKU to incoming students.

RecycleMania 2010 started Jan. 24 and will continue to March 27.

For a complete list of activities and more information on the video compe- tition, visit http://green.nku.edu/ and click on RecycleMania 2010.

Story by Vern Hockney