Each week, Blinn College-Brenham recycles about 20 pounds of beverage containers and another 30-40 pounds of paper.
The school’s naturalist club thinks it can do better, and it’s out to prove exactly that over the next few weeks.
Blinn has entered RecycleMania, a national competition that included 630 colleges and universities, 7.5 million students and staff and 91 million pounds of recovered material last year, and hopes to use its inaugural entry this year to set a baseline.
By participating, Blinn could receive 60 free recycling bins from Alcoa Inc., one of the world’s largest aluminum producers and a sponsor of RecycleMania. Those recycling bins, worth about $6,000, would allow Blinn to place recycling bins at every building on campus.
“We don’t have a lot of recycling bins on campus right now,” said Geology Instructor Michael Dalman, who oversees the volunteer recycling collection. “Each week, the Blinn College Naturalist Club collects the recycling bins at select buildings on campus, but we don’t have enough to put them in all the dorm rooms and we don’t have enough in the student center. If we win the grant, we could do even better.”
To be eligible for the grant, Alcoa asked Blinn to participate in RecycleMania and document its current recycling efforts, weighing the beverage containers, paper and cardboard that the school recycles. The naturalist club hopes that over the next eight weeks it sees increased recycling as it spreads the word around campus.
“If we got 60 extra bins here on campus, that would just be incredible,” Dalman said. “It could make a tremendous difference.”