WILKES-BARRE — Students from Wilkes University and King’s College will kick off a three-week recycling competition tonight, though the planet will be the ultimate winner.
Environmental club students from both city schools got together and decided to raise awareness for recycling, agreeing that a friendly contest between the campuses would be a good way to do just that. The schools have set up recycling barrels — which were donated by Scranton Cooperage — throughout their campuses for faculty, staff and students to deposit white office paper only.
The paper will be collected until Earth Day, April 22, and the winner will be announced at an April 26 Earth Week event at King’s College.
The amount of paper will be measured weekly. Progress will be charted on a display in the student centers at each school. The competition has been organized by environmental engineering and Earth science majors at Wilkes and by members of the Environmental Awareness and Outdoor Club at King’s.
Steven Adames, 23, a senior environmental engineering student at Wilkes, said he believes too many people — college students included — do not recycle.
“I think awareness needs to be higher,” said Adames, of Tannersville, who was one of the students who organized the competition. Wilkes has recycling bins throughout campus, he said, but too often students walk past them and throw paper in the trash.
Wilkes already has recycling bins for mixed paper. King’s College has receptacles for aluminum and plastic and glass only, said Jonathan Durland, the president of the college’s Environmental Awareness and Outdoor Club. He has talked to college officials about adding white-paper bins and they have been receptive, he said.
Durland, 22, an environmental studies major from Somerville, N.J., said if the competition is a success, he is hoping to use the data and participation to help school leaders to follow through.
At the end of the competition, the institution with the most white paper collected, by weight, will be presented with a recycled art trophy made by Sue Guzic, a mixed-media artist from Hughestown. Durland said he is hoping the students get behind the contest; it could become an annual event, with the trophy being housed on the campus of the winning institution.
Adames said the paper will be collected and sold to a recycling center, who is offering between $60 and $80 per ton. Whatever money is collected from the sale will be donated, in the winning college’s name, to the Save the Trees organization, which plants a tree for every $1 donated.