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RecycleMania national competition under way

If you’re noticing more of a push to recycle around campus these days, there’s a reason.

RecycleMania, the national recycling competition among colleges and universities, kicked off with a recycling fair at the University of South Carolina Wednesday.

“We want to raise awareness among all students of the competition and the importance of recycling,” said Christine Burke, RecycleMania student coordinator. “Learn about what can be recycled and then recycle.”

Burke, a sophomore cultural anthropology major from Irmo, also encourages students to learn about the different student organizations that focus on sustainability and to attend an event. These include the Green Quad recycling project team, Net Impact and Sage.

More than 379 colleges and universities are participating in the RecycleMania competition, which continues through April 2. An additional 300 colleges are participating in a pre-competition phase with plans to join the competition next year.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to recycle all cans, bottles, paper and cardboard on campus.

This is the second year USC has participated in the RecycleMania competition. Carolina students established a strong foundation last year and beat rival Clemson University in both the percentage of waste recycled and total pounds of recycled materials collected. USC collected more than 205,227 pounds last year.

Burke says this year’s goal is to recycle more, to rise in the standings -- particularly in the “gorilla” category for total pounds of materials recycled -- and to beat Clemson again.

Margaret Bounds, coordinator for environmental sustainability in USC Housing, works with the students to coordinate the RecycleMania campaign. She says additional events will include a student Recycle Olympics from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, on Davis Field, and a “Clean Out Your Office” day for faculty and staff that will take place during spring break.

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