Feb 10, 2009

Campus competes in green race as Recylemania 2009 kicks off

by Mandi Forth

This is Liberty’s second year to compete in Recyclemania and the school has already managed to recycle 20,000 pounds worth of cardboard and paper. Last year Liberty managed to collect 64 tons of cardboard and paper.

“It was our first year to join the competition. Our goal, like this year, is to increase awareness and encourage participation, and we did just that,” Sheri Pruitt, Facilities Assistant Manager, said.

This competition includes 510 different universities from across the country. The program began in Feb. 2001 by Ed Newman from Ohio University and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler from Miami University, according to recyclemania.com. Both wanted to see their colleges get involved with recycling.

The competition became more popular in 2002 and 2003 when the amount of schools participating doubled. Each school will be competing for 10 weeks. Each week the school will report the amount that it has recycled.

Many different offices across the Liberty campus are partnering with the project to make this competition possible, including field operations, the facilities department, the transportation department and the Office of Student Leadership.

“Recycling is a great opportunity to help both the economy and environment. It is a way to be a good steward of the material God had blessed us with,” Amber Parker, associate director for the Office of Student Leadership, said.

In addition to the obvious bonuses of recycling, there are other reasons for Liberty to participate.

“The benefits include additional income derived from recycled materials and lower landfill fees charged by the City of Lynchburg. Students have an opportunity to participate in this program benefitting them and Liberty,” J.O. Renalds, the director of field operations, said.

Each residence hall had collection boxes where students can put their recyclable materials. Each hall is encouraged to elect a Conservation Advocate (CA) who will go around to all of these boxes and collect the recycled materials, as well as take the recycled materials to the nearby recycling centers.

“I want to be involved to better the environment and to make it less stressful on the guys to recycle, because if someone doesn’t do it then it might not get done,” Michael Brown, the CA on East 27, said.

Last year, the school had a variety of different issues getting the project off the ground. They had some difficulties by not having the equipment necessary, as well as having some problems getting the students actively involved in the program.

“I felt like I was helping to make a difference. It was difficult at times getting girls on the hall motivated to recycle,” senior Katie Kiser said. “Some people felt that recycling was only for ‘tree huggers,’ but the Bible calls us to be good stewards to this planet.”

Randy Johnson, Liberty’s grounds department manager, explained that students getting involved is a key part of the project.

“The amount of recycled material would increase if the residential students would help by taking their recyclables to central recycle centers. This means the students must contribute a bit of work themselves, by sorting and carrying it to the centers. The cost of the labor if done in house by staff would far exceed benefits of the whole project,” Johnson said.

Contact Mandi Forth at


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