Zach White, a Reinhardt horticulturist for 11 years and the RU Green program coordinator, said the university has more than 90 recycling bins on campus.
“Our goal is to reduce the amount of waste on our campus and grow our recycling program,” White said Friday. “We believe that’ll encourage us to be better stewards of our campus, and that’s what we’re really trying to do.”
Recyclemania is a national competition between hundreds of colleges across the country, which calls for campuses to measure their trash and recycling each week and report back.
“It’s done per-capita, so with Reinhardt being a small school we can really participate and compete well,” White said.
Throughout the competition, RU Green will host events to encourage recycling and celebrate the benefits of being a good environmental steward on-campus.
On March 19, Reinhardt will host the 2014 Winter Recyclimpic Games in the Bannister Glasshouse. The event will include recyclable material games like bowling with aluminum, a bottle cap toss, slapshot cardboard hockey and more, White said.
The university will also have Wasteless Wednesday on Feb. 26, in the Gordy Cafeteria, to encourage people to reduce the amount of waste that comes from the cafeteria.
Another event that stands out is Fort Reinhardt, set to take place March 27 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the Hasty Student Center Lawn.
“We are planning to have a fun day of creating a huge cardboard fort on our campus made of all cardboard material,” White said. “The current world record is 3,000 boxes at Duke University, but we are aiming to build the biggest cardboard fort in Georgia or Cherokee County.”
This is Reinhardt’s first year competing in Recyclemania and White has the help of two students, RU Green program assistants Jasmine Simmons, a junior from Dallas, Ga., and Brent Blackwell, a freshmen from Canton.
White and the RU Green program assistants will measure the campus’s trash and recycle amounts weekly for the competition.
“Me, Jasmine and Brent are measuring how much trash we have across our campus, and we’re also measuring how much waste we use in all our trash dumpsters on campus, and the cafeteria is measuring how much waste we make when we eat in the cafeteria during lunch and dinner,” White explained.
Last week was Reinhardt’s first official week of the competition and White said the university measured 825 pounds of food waste in the cafeteria, 680 pounds of recyclables and an estimated 30,000 pounds of trash in the school’s trash bins.
White said one of the goals during the next six weeks is to lower the amount of trash and waste each week, and raise the bar for recycling.
“We want to encourage people — whatever they’re doing on campus and especially people in our dormitories — to recycle more,” he said.
White said the RU Green program recently gave 35 students their own recycling bins for their dorm room, and hosted an event for students to decorate their bins in an effort to encourage more recycling.
“I just want to encourage everyone to be good stewards of our environment. I think we do a lot here at our campus at Reinhardt, from the Waleska Farmers Market and RU Green,” White said. “Our main goal is to increase our sustainability efforts on-campus at Reinhardt.”