UW-P’s RecycleMania succesful, spurs local community’s recycling rate

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville participated in RecycleMania, a contest designed to encourage better recycling, from Feb. 5 to March 31.

This is the fourth year UW-Platteville has been involved with the event, beginning in 2009 with just four buildings on campus participating.  Even then, UW-Platteville was still able to achieve a 39 percent single stream recycle rate in 2009.

Amy Seeboth, the sustainability coordinator, said that the RecycleMania initiative has been a joy to take part in.

“We try to lead by example and challenge the community to increase their recycling rate,” Seeboth said.

The city of Platteville received the Governor’s Stewardship Award in March and cited RecycleMania as one of the city’s green initiatives to help make the community a better place.

UW-Platteville partnered with local recycling company Faherty Inc. in Recyclemania. Ed Faherty, vice president of Faherty Inc., said he did not believe RecycleMania had any effect on Platteville’s recycling rates outside of the university.

“The city has held a consistent 30 percent diversion rate for the last 10 or more years,” Faherty said.  “Although it seems like the city’s residential recycling rate is lagging behind (that of UW-Platteville), the rate is a bit deceptive. UW-Platteville’s diversion rate includes high producers of recycling material.  If you included the yard waste collection program that the city provides, its residential diversion rate would be over 45 percent.  All in all, I’m afraid most residents don’t even realize that there is such a thing as RecycleMania and how well UW-Platteville has done in the competition.”

The campus has done a wonderful job recycling, and the hope is that eventually that will carry over to the community.  With more garbage being produced everyday and with shrinking landfills and areas to put the waste, it is important to find better and more efficient ways of recycling and waste management.

With the ever filling landfills, trash has begun to pile up in the oceans and has created huge floating islands, sometimes the size of the state of Texas.  With this being said, the United Nations has created and declared the new state of “Garbage Patch” on April 11 to bring attention to our increasing problem of garbage in the oceans.  The hope is that one day the oceans across the world will be clean.

For more information on recycling and sustainability, contact Amy Seeboth, Sustainability Coordinator, at 608-342-7244.