NIU celebrates recycling day

By Linda Luk

NIU will celebrate America Recycles Day with a series of activities sponsored by NIU Recycling Services.

On Thursday, schools across the nation will celebrate America Recycles Day, and NIU is no exception. This year will be the third year NIU actively has participated in the celebration.

“This is certainly the most involved Recycling Services has been with planning programs,” said graduate assistance coordinator Larissa Melton.

The celebration begins today at the Office of Campus Recreation, where Wellness Week is going on. Today is Environmental Wellness Day, and Recycling Services will be there from 4 to 7 p.m. handing out information about recycling.

“We invited them because we focus on an aspect of health each day,” said Anna Sheaner, wellness graduate assistant for the Office of Campus Recreation. “[Today] is Environmental Health Day because the environment we live in is important for your quality of life.”

Also, students will get a chance to learn how to make paper.

“I’ll be teaching people how to do it,” Melton said. “It’s not that hard. This is like the third or fourth time I’ve done it, but it’s my first time doing a public demonstration.”

On Wednesday, Birds of Prey: Local Hunters will be paying a visit to the Holmes Student Center’s Carl Sandburg Auditorium.

Co-sponsoring along with the Residence Hall Association, Paul Woodin of Atwood Outdoor Education Center will present information on local birds of prey while displaying live birds, Melton said.

Students will get a chance to have fun and win prizes at 7 p.m. Thursday night in the Lincoln Lower Lounge with Recycling Double Dare.

“It’s based on the Nickelodeon show,” said Melton. “We’ll have teams of four who will challenge each other’s recycling knowledge.”

If teams are unable to answer the questions, they could do a recycling challenge such as sorting recycling material or finding the red flags, Melton said.

This event is sponsored by local vendors with prize packages available for the winners. Some prizes includes a gift certificate to Wal-Mart and free Papa John’s pizza.

Melton has been planning for America Recycles Week since September.

“We’ve done much smaller events in the past,” Melton said. “Last year there was a recycle art contest and swap shop in Douglas and Lincoln.”

The campus overall has done well in recycling, but many people are unaware how involved NIU is with recycling, Melton said. While students recycle the traditional material such as paper, cans, plastic and glass, NIU collects and processes more material than that.

“Between Holmes Student Center and Student Housing and Dining Services, they have recycled more than 21,000 pounds of grease,” Melton said.

Other materials that NIU recycles include keys, florescent lamps, mattresses and steel.

“My hope is through these events, we’ll get our name out there,” Melton said.