Dorms recycle, reduce for Sustain-a-Bowl


For the next four weeks, many dorm rooms may appear darker than usual with the recycling bins filled to the rim.

Monday, Feb. 1, almost 4,000 students in each of Auburn's 30 residence halls will participate in the second annual Sustain-a-Bowl, a competition supporting less waste of electricity, water and trash, while encouraging

more recycling. "(Sustainability) is a national

trend," said Matt Williams, program manager for the Office of Sustainability. "It started at Duke University... and (soon after) we looked at what had been going on at other campuses."

By reducing waste and increasing recycling, students learn to live more sustainably.

"The way we define (sustainability) is coming up with solutions," Williams said. "It ties in with resources, community, economics and all the way across the board."

Although the competition supports less waste and more recycling, it encourages gaining more knowledge about sustainable living and allows many outlets for participation.

"Each week there's a total of 1,000 points (each hall) can get," said Emma Mulzaney, communications and outreach coordinator for the Office of Sustainability.

There are 300 points awarded for water and electricity and 200 points awarded for recycling and events.

The hall that reduces the most waste is awarded the full points, and the other halls will receive their own earned percentages.

"The highest reduction gets the biggest amount of points," Mulzaney said.

Each week two hall events are offered, including a movie night and T-shirt painting.

Kelsey Lott, sophomore in special education and resident of Oak Hall, is excited to participate for the second year in a row.

"I'm going to make sure I turn off the lights before

I leave the room," Lott said. "I'm also going to make sure all of my roommates keep up with their recycling."

Last year's winner was Sustain-a-Bowl was Sas- nett Hall, which combined with the other 21 par- ticipating dorms, saved $5,506 in electricity and $2,785 was saved in water, resulting in a total of $8,291 saved in the shortest month.

Along with the begin- ning of the Sustain-a-Bowl, Auburn will also be kicking off the start of RecycleMania.

RecycleMania is a 10- week nationwide event with more than 600 colleges participating in 2010.

In this event, Auburn will be competing in numerous categories.

According to, "schools report recycling and trash data which are then ranked according to who collects the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate."

Auburn is encouraging its residents and campus to outdo last year's efforts in reducing electricity and water waste along with increasing the amount of recycling.

Visit to learn more.

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