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A student-led recycling effort at SUNY Oswego won an honorable mention in a national recycling competition called RecycleMania thanks in part to a social media campaign run by the Office of Sustainability.
The college won the honorable mention as part of the 3R (Reduce-Reuse-Recycle) Actions Challenge among medium sized universities for racking up 700 peer-to-peer actions. Among the 104 schools that entered the competition, the champions included the University at Albany in the same division as Oswego.
Sustainability’s student intern Chelsea Frisbie, a senior broadcasting major, created the Garbage Pail kids, a program where volunteers stood near garbage bins in high traffic areas of the campus and taught students what garbage to put where.
“Every interaction our garbage pail kids had with a student, they would tweet or text about it, and that’s how we get our ‘actions’,” said Frisbie.
Nationally, RecycleMania logged over 32,000 3R actions, and got almost 400 students involved all across the country. The overall goals for RecycleMania include motivating students to increase recycling efforts and reducing waste, generating attention for campus recycling programs and encourage schools to create benchmarks to work towards better recycling habits in the future.
The SUNY Oswego Sustainability department is looking forward to it’s future endeavors in the 3R Challenge.
“We’re going to stick with the 3R campaign and focus on the social media aspect and talk to students about what they are throwing away and where it should be going,” said Jaime Adams, the sustainability program coordinator. “It’s really exciting. It kind of puts us on the map as having an active sustainability program. Moreover, it shows we are reaching out to the college’s students in new and different ways,” she added.
The Sustainability Departments also encourages better green habits by creating a bike share program, a Wednesday Wagon informational program, interactive tables with sustainability information, recycling themed games and the Farm to SUNY buy-local initiative.
Other winners in the 3R Challenge include Chatham University, Ohio State University and University at Texas, Arlington. Other honorable mentions winners were Butler University, University of Virginia and Ferrum College.