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Campus to Take Part in National RecycleMania EventEvent to Raise Awareness of Environmental Issues, Encourage Green Habits Among Faculty, Staff and Students

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January 13, 2009-Houston-
Recycling happens every day at the University of Houston, but for 10 weeks, the campus community will step up its efforts to reduce campus waste.

UH is among the universities competing in the national RecycleMania competition, which not only encourages recycling but also emphasizes the benefits of going green every day.

During RecycleMania, UH and competing universities will report recycling and trash data between Jan. 18 and March 28. At the conclusion of the competition, universities will be ranked in different categories. Awards will be distributed based on the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash and the highest recycling rate.

"This is a fun competition, but, most importantly, it's an event we can use to help motivate the campus community to adopt greener habits," said Emily Messa, assistant vice president of university services. "During RecycleMania, we're going to host events that not only promote recycling but also help reduce the community's overall carbon footprint. Some events will focus on reducing emissions through commuting solutions. Others will recognize people on campus for doing their part to help the environment."

Events include a kick-off pep rally Jan. 21, a Green UH Commuter Fair on Jan. 27 and the RecycleMania Olympics on March 11.

Messa is among the faculty, staff and students comprising UH's Sustainability Task Force, which promotes campus green efforts through education and outreach.

"RecycleMania is just one of the things we're doing to support UH's green mission," Messa said. "In the past year, more recycling bins have been placed around campus. Also, UH cafeterias have gone trayless to save water and diminish excess wastes. We're also planting a vegetable garden that will grow produce to be used in our food-service operations."

Although RecycleMania is a 10-week competition, Messa and the rest of UH's Sustainability Task Force are confident it will challenge faculty, staff and students to practice green habits long after the contest concludes.

 "My hope is that this competition not only inspires everyone to become a ‘RecycleManiac' for 10-weeks but for life," Messa said.

A list of RecycleMania highlights are as follows:
  • Pep Rally - 11:45 a.m., Jan. 21 at the University Center (UC). This kick-off event will showcase UH's new recycling containers, offer details on RecycleMania and feature the UH band and cheerleaders.
  • Green UH Commuter Fair - 10 a.m., Jan. 27 - 28 at the UC Satellite, Philip G. Hoffman Hall breezeway and Moody Towers. The UH community will learn about METRO services and vanpools and sign an e-pledge to receive a Green UH Commuter kit. Students also will receive discounted Q-Cards.
  • Campus Produce Garden Dedication - 11 a.m., Feb. 5 at Lynn Eusan Park. UH's new produce garden will be celebrated during this dedication ceremony.
  • RecycleMania Olympics - 10 a.m., March 11 at Campus Recreation and Wellness Center. Students will participate in events like the "Telephone Shot Put," "Recycled Art Contest" and "Can Toss."

Also during RecycleMania, designated "RecycleManiacs" plan to collect recyclables from dorm rooms and student apartments. A Web site also will be created to showcase photos of those community members who are caught "Green-Handed" (i.e. recycling, picking up litter, etc.).


For additional details on UH's green initiatives, visit http://www.uh.edu/af/greenUH/. To learn more about RecycleMania, visit www.recyclemania.org.

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The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.

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