By Maj. Andrew Pfluger, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering January 10, 2013
WEST POINT, N.Y. (Jan. 10, 2013) -- For the third consecutive year, the U.S. Military Academy has joined the RecycleMania tournament and is ready to out-recycle more than 600 other colleges and universities across the U.S. and Canada.
This year's strategy focuses on community involvement. RecycleMania is not just about the Corps, but the entire installation.
So, what is RecycleMania? RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote recycling programs and waste reduction.
The competition is run by the College and University Recycling Council, in coordination with Keep American Beautiful and the EPA's WasteWise program. RecycleMania is also sponsored by a number of major corporations who have been instrumental in spreading the word on recycling at West Point.
This year, the eight-week competition runs from Feb. 3 to April 5.
West Point will participate in four major categories of waste and recycling, which are reported weekly by weight: paper, cardboard, bottles/cans and trash.
While there are several competition categories, the academy will most likely be competitive in the "Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita Classic" category, that measures which college or university can collect the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles/cans per person during the competition period. Last year, West Point finished 11th of 338 universities that competed in this category.
Of significant note, West Point placed third in the cardboard category in 2012 and could be competitive again in this category if everyone reinforces their cardboard recycling efforts.
Garrison Commander Col. Dane Rideout is fully supportive of the recycling effort and has dedicated resources to support recycling initiatives on post. In the cadet barracks, cadets will soon see new cardboard recycling dumpsters for the common areas and new bins for each of the cadet company areas.
West Point's Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation has also worked hard to develop a RecycleMania advertising campaign to begin in January 2013, which will include posters, fliers and advertisements in every major social medium at West Point.
Not only will West Point participate against other schools, but for the second year it will compete in a separate category against other service academies and military schools in the Commander-in-Chief's Recycling Challenge.
Last year, USMA contended with the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Citadel and the Virginia Military Institute to see which military school could recycle the most. The Coast Guard, due mainly to its robust food recycling program, won the inaugural challenge.
In the Corps, an energized team of cadets is taking on the RecycleMania effort this year. Class of 2013 Cadet Christine Esachina (Company C-3) is the cadet in charge of the effort. Assisting her is Class of 2014 Cadets Asia Hernandez (Co. I-2), Bonny Bradway (Co. B-1) and Mckenzie Hudgins (Co. F-3).
Each of the participating cadets is a member of the Engineers and Scientists for a Sustainable World Club, which is the parent organization for RecycleMania in the Corps. Also critical to success is the Energy and Environment chain of command headed by Class of 2013 Cadet Adam Leemans (Co. G-2), the brigade energy and environment officer. In addition, each cadet company has an energy and environment officer who is charged with developing a recycling strategy to win the cadets' internal recycling competition.
Cadet companies compete against each other, not just for the intrinsic value of recycling, but for prize money supplied by the Directorate of Cadet Activities.
So, what can you do to support the installation and help West Point win RecycleMania? One word: recycle. Save plastic bottles and cans and store cardboard and paper until they can be disposed in the recycling receptacles. Those who live on the installation housing areas, ensure that recyclables are disposed of in a container that FMWR picks up and brings to the West Point Recycling Center.
Any questions concerning recycling locations should be directed to Stan Brown, West Point Recycling Center director, at 938-4281.
For more information about RecycleMania, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org/.