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Environment / Sustainability

CSU to hold annual trash audit Feb. 29 in the midst of RecycleMania

February 27, 2012
By Danielle Kelsen

CSU will host its annual Trash Audit on Wednesday, Feb. 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will take place on University Avenue near the Computer Science building east of the LSC Plaza.

Promoting friendly competition

The Trash Audit will occur during RecycleMania, a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs around the country to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities. The Trash Audit is conducted during RecycleMania to help promote the competition and educate the campus community.

“Promoting sustainability to students on college campuses forms a prelude to an environmentally conscious adulthood,” said Matthew M. McKenna, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful, an organization that is serving as both a sponsor and administrator of RecycleMania this year.

CSU has been a participant in this competition since 2004 and continues to be a leading contender, currently placing 16th among this year’s 605 participating colleges and universities. Since the first year of the competition, CSU has finished in the top 5 percent, even as the competition has grown from just 17 schools to more than 600.

Recruiting volunteers

For the Annual Trash Audit, CSU will recruit up to 70 student volunteers and 10 faculty and staff advisors who will sort through one day’s worth of campus trash to determine how much of CSU’s campus waste could have been recycled or composted instead of being placed in the trash.

“It is a dirty and difficult job, but the students who take part each year have a wonderful time and tell us they never throw anything away afterward without thinking about whether the item could be reused, repurposed, recycled or composted instead,” said Tonie Miyamoto, director of communications and sustainability for CSU Housing and Dining Services. “It is a reality check to see all the waste that we produce on campus in just one day.”

The first 70 student volunteers will also be provided with a free T-shirt reading “It Starts with Recycling.” The T-shirt emphasizes CSU’s RecycleMania theme this year and represents the first step for many people in protecting the planet through recycling and is a gateway habit into more involved sustainability efforts.