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U of M Will Observe "America Recycles Day" Nov. 18 University News
For release: November 15, 2010

For press information, contact Amelia Mayahi, 901-678-5543

The University of Memphis will observe “America Recycles Day” on Thursday, Nov. 18, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to U of M faculty, staff, students, and alumni, the event is co-sponsored by the Tennessee Recycling Coalition and by Keep Tennessee Beautiful, a department of Extended Programs at the U of M.

The University became involved with America Recycles Day for the first time last year, with the campus’ Sustainability Operations Committee spearheading the process. Sustainability Coordinator Amelia Mayahi is the leader of the University’s efforts.

“Last year, I realized that the University really needed to be involved in some of the major national awareness activities, so I researched these types of events and got our University involved,” Mayahi said. “This year I would like to double the amount of recyclables we collect and gain more support for the effort.”

There will be three collection points on the campus: one in the Central parking lot, one in the Southern parking lot, and one in the Student Plaza. The following items will be collected: paper, plastic #1, #2, #4 and #5 (a new addition), all metals, glass (but no windows or mirrors), Styrofoam, cell phones, all batteries, CDs, DVDs, and ink/toner cartridges.  There will also be giveaways such as reusable bags, candy, calendars and more at the Student Plaza location.

“There are major economic factors involved,” Mayahi said. “It costs more to bring trash to a landfill than to recycle. It also takes more energy to make a product from virgin material than from recycled material. There are negative impacts on the environment as long as we choose to live in this linear system. Landfill space is limited, and certain materials in landfills that are considered trash can be very hazardous to our health. We may not see these impacts, but our children definitely will. As a higher education institution, it is important that we be a leader in this effort.”

In addition to the events planned for Nov. 18, U of M faculty and staff will compete in a recycling bin contest on Nov. 15. The purpose of the contest is to get departments to start using bins every day in their departments.

“Financially, it is difficult to get bins to place beside every desk in every office, but that does not mean you cannot recycle,” Mayahi said. “A simple cardboard box underneath your desk can be just as effective – and even more sustainable. That is the purpose of this contest, as well as raising awareness of recycling and just having fun uniting departments and students.”

For more information, contact Mayahi at askosta@memphis.edu

Information about recycling and other “green” initiatives at the University is also available online at www.memphis.edu/greencampus

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