Starting in September, The Green Team is challenging all Miami University residence halls to reduce landfill waste.
The “Blue Bag Challenge” is a monthly challenge designed to encourage students to develop recycling habits that will help align with the university’s sustainability goals. At the beginning of the school year, flyers were distributed describing the acceptable recyclable items. These include paper products, plastics numbered one through seven, aluminum cans, glass containers and cardboard.
If students are unsure about what is accepted by Rumpke, Anna Ginsky, graduate student in the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability and president of The Green Team, said not to worry. Rumpke – the company in charge of Miami’s waste disposal – sorts both mechanically and by hand.
“If you’re not totally sure but your best guess is that it is, then recycle it,” Ginsky said.
For further incentive, at the end of each month The Green Team is awarding the residence hall that recycled the most a ten pound Jelly Belly dispenser with free spins. Students just walk up, spin and receive free Jelly Belly’s.
“We don’t know when we’re going to be inspecting your hall, so be sure to recycle everyday as much as you can,” Ginsky advised.
The residence halls will have six chances to win the dispensers – in the months of September, October, November, February, March and April.
“We’re really trying to divert as much recyclable waste away from the landfill,” Ginsky said, “We really want to try to capture that waste stream.”
According to statistics from the EPA, the national landfill diversion rate from recycling is 33.8 percent. As recycling becomes more prominent, this number is predicted to rise.
The Green Team will be advertising for the “Blue Bag Challenge” with detailed flyers on the boards in the residence halls.