TROY – Troy University students, faculty and staff are turning green, not from an ailment but out of respect for the environment.
This spring, the University's Physical Plant joined the national Recyclemania program aimed at the reduction of the waste stream entering landfills, said Chad Mixon, manager of recycling and grounds at the University.
"This was our first year to participate in the national program and we did so in order to establish a benchmark," he said. "We got the word out on campus about what we were doing, placed more than 26 blue recycling containers in strategic locations across campus and involved several student groups in the effort, including the Environmental Club."
During the 10-week initiative, the Troy Campus collected almost 34,500 pounds of recyclables, or about 4.6 pounds per person. After the benchmarking year, TROY will enter the Recyclemania national competition. Schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclable material, different materials collected, the least amount of trash per capita or have the highest recycling rate. With each week's reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.
"Next year, we'll work with our incoming freshmen in the fall and more heavily promote the program with the students," Mixon said. "There seems to be a lot of people interested in recycling and we're going to do what we can to promote recycling at TROY."
This isn't the University's first foray into "going green," however. The University has long supported a paper and cardboard recycling program in its offices, and has undertaken as a strategic objective a move toward being a "paperless" university. Innovations included in new construction on campus and improvements to existing structures and grounds – such as Janice Hawkins Park – have also reduced the campus' "carbon footprint."
"There are a lot of buzz words out there today, but sustainability is taking a forefront in our efforts," Mixon said. "There's tremendous room for improvement but we feel great about how we did with Recyclemania."
Mixon said those interested could see exactly how TROY stacks up against other universities by visiting the recyclemania.org website.