It pays to recycle, at least for whoever collects the most cans.
The CANpaign, which is a recycling effort put on by the city of Tallahassee, pits learning institutions and their organizations against each other all in the spirit of recycling.
The competition involves organizations competing to see which one collects the most cans.
The winner receives a cash prize, which is then doubled.
Anja Deloach, recycling and special services coordinator of solid waste services for Tallahassee said that the city would be offering 40 cents per pound for the collected cans.
“The U.S Conference of Mayors issued a challenge to cities to see who can collect the most cans,” Deloach said. “We accepted that challenge and we extended that challenge to the schools.”
Florida A&M University and Florida State University have accepted the challenge. Both universities are going head-to-head to see which school can collect the most cans.
Michelle Williams, program manager of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s cooperatives science center at FAMU explained the importance of the university’s involvement.
“The FAMU Green Coalition’s mission is to bring environmental stewardship to FAMU and to educate on the importance of recycling,” Williams said. ” Last year we did not participate and we wanted FAMU to have a major presence this time.”
Williams said the coalition had placed fliers all around campus so that the student organizations would be aware of the competition, which runs from Sept. 12 to Oct 13. So far seven organizations have registered.
The Cobra All-Stars, a new cheerleading squad, is just one of these organizations.
Meshundria Turner, 21, a psychology student from Dallas, Texas, is a member of the cheerleading squad.
Turner said that the main reason she registered the organization for the competition was to raise funds.
“I thought it would be easy for us to collect cans,” she said. “I’m pretty sure that everyone drinks out of a can at least once a day.”
Turner said that the doubling of the cash prize, regardless of the amount, was a good incentive. And if the squad wins the money, it will be put toward purchasing uniforms.
Representatives of the FAMU Green Coalition will also be on ‘The Set’ every Friday throughout the days of the competition in order to gain more visibility for the competition. Organizations can also register during this time.
Williams said FAMU’s participation in the CANpaign helps Tallahassee, as cities across the U.S are competing for a $5000 cash prize, which if won goes back into the city’s recycling efforts.
Tallahassee ranks near the top of its division, the division being based on the population of the city.
Across the way, FSU has also begun kicking things into gear.
Elizabeth Swiman, program assistant in the service-learning program at the Center for Leadership and Civic Education at FSU, said Florida State is very committed to the recycling cause.
“We are a part of the community,” Swiman said. “Organizers of the event would like to see more FSU and FAMU participation, since our students are members of the community.”
Swiman noted there is a “good level of involvement,” from the students. She said FSU was always looking for ways to increase participation on campus and in community events. And the university has various student organizations dedicated to environmental awareness.
The Sustainable Campusing Community Committee at FSU will be spearheading the competition, though most of the responsibility will fall upon the waste subcommittee, which along with education, facilities, transportation and water, make up the SCCC.
“It is a group of faculty, staff, students and community partners that work on projects to make FSU more sustainable,” Swiman said.
The CANpaign, which will end with a weigh in at the Home Depot located on Apalachee Parkway, has both university representatives optimistic of a win.
“I think we’re definitely going to win against FSU,” Williams said. ” We have a whole committee devoted to this. FSU is just sending out information to their organizations, we’ll [FAMU Green Coalition] be very visible.”
Swiman said that Florida State’s ultimate goal is to increase [environmental] awareness on campus and the amount of cans collected in the community. She too felt assured of a win.
“Of course we will win.”