Edge and The Gannon Knight are teaming up to bring you periodic headlines from Gannon’s student-produced weekly newspaper. Check out this article by The Gannon Knight’s Tessy Pawlowski to see how Gannon is going green.

The Gannon Goes Green committee wants everyone on campus to get manic about recycling. Recyclemania – the countrywide recycling initiative held at college campuses – has begun, and will continue through the end of March.

Recyclemania is a national competition between all participating colleges based on quantity recycled. The competition includes several levels. Last year, Gannon participated in Recyclemania in the benchmark level, said Gretchen Fairley, the director of Service Learning. It was a chance for Gannon to test the waters, but this year things are getting more serious.

Gary Garnic, the associate vice president for Campus Services, is in charge of keeping track of how many recyclables are taken in. Every week the recyclables are collected and the end result after two months will be collected and compared to the results from last year.

For its sophomore participation in the program, the Green committee, which co-sponsors the event, has upped its game. Steve Ropski, Ph.D., professor of biology, said last year the numbers of eight campus buildings were recorded. This year those same buildings will be accounted for, but with a more competitive spirit. Ropski said he also wants clubs and organizations to participate.

Fairley said it’s simple for clubs to get involved.

“Student organizations, clean out your basement, bring your newspapers,” she said. “The idea isn’t to go looking for more, but recycle things you would normally throw away.”

She also suggested students also consider more creative methods of recycling, like starting a light bulb collection. Fairley said any group interested in participating in such a collection should contact her office and they could drop of the items there to be taken to a site.

Gannon has already started a number of initiatives to be greener that students may not be aware of. Fairley said old phones and ink cartridges are collected and recycled and the money goes to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Ropski also said he wanted to get the word out more about Recyclemania this year. Postings about the event are on the portal and faculty members have been encouraged to tell students in class. He said it’s important to encourage students to practice the mantra preached to them in science and other classes.

“Be good stewards and protect what we’re given,” he said.

Students hear this message in class and are listening, Ropski said. He said many students receive this message in high school and Gannon needs to live up their expectations.

“We have to give them good opportunities,” he said.

Fairley said the program is an opportunity to develop better habits, which can be fun and have a lasting impact.

“If you do it for this period of time, then maybe you will always do it and incorporate new habits,” she said.

Ropski said the campaign can be explained simply.

“Number one, it’s the law,” he said. “Number two, it just makes sense. Why throw something away in a landfill you use only once?”

Check out www.recyclemania.org for more information on the program.

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 16 edition of The Gannon Knight.