Recycle Mania is a nation-wide inter-collegiate competition between 400 schools across the country. This is Western's second year participating. The 10-week competition ranks schools on the largest amount of recyclables per capita. The competition serves to raise awareness on campus about recycling and the services available on campus.

To participate in the competition students and faculty need only to recycle like they normally would, Recycle Center coordinator Richard Neyer said. The staff of the Recycle Center will then weigh the materials and report them to Recycle Mania. Sorting through garbage may not be the sexiest job but those in the Recycle Center can be proud of the long standing tradition at Western to be environmentally conscious. The Recycle Center has been an official AS program since 1976.

The group of students and staff of the Recycle Center are responsible for collecting 3,800 pounds of recyclables a day.

You can always count on finding something interesting while sorting through the piles, said Recycle Center staff manager and senior Malia Hieb.

“There is lots of stuff that's not recyclable that we find that's hilarious… well it's more irritating than anything,” Hieb said. “Q-tips are my pet peeve. We also find lots of toys, one time around Easter I found a chicken that poops out jelly beans.”

Working at the Recycle Center rubs off, said Hieb.

“I am a total pack rat because of this place,” Hieb said. “I don't buy office supplies anymore because we find notebooks, pens, highlighters, all of that stuff.”

What's the most common thing in the recycle that is not recyclable?

“The number one things we get a lot of now are coffee cups,” Hieb said. “They are soiled and have wax so they are definitely not recyclable and are a pain in our side.”