Texas Tech, along with other Big 12 schools such as Oklahoma, Texas and Baylor, is participating in RecycleMania for the third year in a row.
RecycleMania is a competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs to promote waste reduction activities to their campus communities, according to its website.
During an eight week period each spring, colleges across the U.S. and Canada report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week and are then ranked in various categories.
These categories are based on who recycles the most on a per capita basis, as well as which schools have the best recycling rate as a percentage of total waste and which schools generate the least amount of combined trash and recycling, according to the website.
In addition to participating in the competition, Tech also makes other efforts to promote recycling and serve as a sustainable campus.
“We’ll be tabling outside of the SUB, recycling at basketball games, doing an electronics drive and pairing with CUTE club for a couple of events,” Julia Peña, a marketing and sustainability intern for Tech Housing, said.
Tech is one of the few locations in Lubbock that offers recycling. It offers multiple types of recycling, such as glass, paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, aluminum and Styrofoam recycling.
On-campus students can recycle by placing items in the blue and green bins located on each floor of the residence halls. Any off-campus student, faculty or staff wanting to recycle can do it by going to the Tech Recycling Center on campus as long as they keep plastic and paper separate as it can contaminate.
In addition, Styrofoam bricks are now being used with the construction of the new buildings on campus, Peña said. They are recycled Styrofoam that has been turned into hollow bricks. The bricks are then filled with concrete as they are used for construction. The Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration, Bayer CropScience and West Village Residence Hall all used the bricks during construction.
Another sustainability effort is Tech’s water program.
“We have refillable water stations around campus. Students can just stick one of their empty water bottles under, fill it up, and it’s good to go,” she said. “It reduces the amount of water that we use in water fountains and encourages using a reusable water bottle.”
Tech is constantly making efforts to get students involved and make the campus as a whole more sustainable, Peña said.
“I think it’s important for students to participate because recycling is becoming a big thing. Taking care of the Earth and taking care of the planet has always been a mission of mine,” Peña said.
Kenny Williams, a freshman engineering major from Missouri City, said not recycling can lead to negative effects in the future.
“I personally don’t recycle, but I have noticed many efforts made on campus in order to be sustainable,” Williams said. “I noticed it a lot when I was moving in.”
Navy Butler, a freshman nutrition major from Midland, said recycling and sustainability efforts are important.
“I regularly use the refillable water stations around campus,” Butler said. “I think being sustainable is very important.”