UMW News BureauMontana Western is getting maniacal about recycling. From Jan. 17 through March 27, UMW is participating in the nationwide RecycleMania competition in an effort to raise awareness about campus recycling opportunities. Montana Western is getting outright maniacal about recycling. From Jan. 17 through March 27, Montana Western is participating in the nationwide RecycleMania competition in an effort to raise awareness about campus recycling opportunities. The friendly competition and benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs promotes waste reduction activities to campuses and communities. Throughout this 10-week drive, Montana Western will gather and record all recycled materials from campus including steel, aluminum and paper. The first two weeks were part of a trial run, which allowed recycling organizers to work out kinks and refine measuring methods before the final eight weeks of the drive. “Our main objective for this project is to raise awareness about recycling around the campus and to track data so that we may see how much recyclable material we are picking up weekly,” recycling coordinator Sarah Hyde said. “It is a great way for people to see the recycling program by getting involved in competitions such as Recyclemania and to hopefully get them in the spirit of recycling.” Montana Western is entered in the benchmark division, meaning the university is not directly competing with other institutions across the country. Because Montana Western is a small university, Hyde said the benchmark division was the best way to get involved without competing with much larger institutions across the country. “This will allow us to get a feel for Recyclemania and perhaps be a part of the competition division next year,” Hyde said. “The benchmark division will allow us to still participate, but we are not held to the same specific rules that the other division is.” There are 607 schools registered for the 2010 competition. Of those schools, 382 are registered for the competition division, and 225 are registered for the benchmark division. Montana Western’s recycling committee is keeping track of the amounts recycled and can compare these numbers with all schools entered. Montana Western’s weekly weights and information can be found through the RecycleMania website by clicking on the “Participating Schools” tab. Hyde said students, faculty and staff can contribute to the project simply by being as conscious about recycling as possible. She encouraged everyone on campus to make the extra effort to find recycling bins instead of simply throwing items in the garbage. For more on recycling opportunities at Montana Western and information on how to get involved, e-mail Sarah Hyde at firstname.lastname@example.org.