By Alan Avitan & David Goldrich

For our Eco Rep Project, we chose to engage students on campus in an awareness event called Recycling Challenge: Shoot to Win.  The project was a way to raise awareness

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about, Recyclemania, the 8 week recycling competition that takes annually between 630+ participating universities in the United States and Canada.  The two goals of the events:

  • to educate the student body on proper recycling (what is and is not recyclable)
  • to encourage students to actively recycle through a motivational activity

We set up a table decked in promotional materials, and awaited students.  When students approached, they were met with a variety of recyclable bottles and materials, and were shown what forms of plastic and cardboard are recyclable under New York City standards.  Similarly, educational materials were available for those who wanted to learn more about the Recyclemania competition or recycling in general in NYC.  To encourage students to participate in recycling, different prizes were offered to those who chose to try the Recycling Challenge.  For the Challenge, participants were given five recyclable plastic water bottles and placed at a free-throw line 15 feet from recycling bins.  They were then asked to shoot the bottles into the bins.  For participation, they received wearable Recyclemania buttons; for sinking at least one shot, participants were given their choice of a wide array of candCalague of Event y and chocolate; for scoring a perfect five for five shooting, participants won a Recyclemania Frisbee (made of recycled plastic materials of course).

The Recycling Challenge was a wild hit.  During the week of tabling on both the Wilf and Beren campuses, hundreds of students took part in the fun activity while simultaneously learning about Yeshiva University’s Office of Energy and Sustainability Recyclemania competition and how best to participate.  Initially intrigued by offers of free candy, many students left the Challenge enthusiastic about recycling and looking to improve efforts in their university.  As one student put it, “I never knew that recycling could be so much fun!”  While only time will tell, we are confident that this project will help Yeshiva improve on last year’s already impressive 2013 rank of 13th out of 200+ schools in the bottles & cans division of Recyclemania.


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