Eco Warriors help OSU residence halls compete in recycling challenge

Campus Recycling Outreach Coordinator Andrea Norris (right) presents a trophy made out of reused materials to McNary Hall Treasurer Jeff Robideau (left), the prize for the residence hall recycling competition during last year's competition. (Photo: Shelly Clark)

Oregon State University is in the midst of a RecycleMania Residence Hall competition, and a group of students who call themselves Eco Warriors is whipping up competitive spirit around campus.

Each residence hall has one student tasked with encouraging their fellow residents to participate in the competition. All 14 of OSU’s residence halls are participating.

“I signed up to be an Eco Warrior because I enjoy creating ways to make people aware of their impact on the environment and how we, as a whole, can improve our imprint,” said Taylor Shields, an OSU student in mathematics and the Eco Warrior for McNary residence hall.

The object of the competition, which takes place through Feb. 24, is to see which hall can recycle the most, based on the total per capita weight of paper, plastic, metal and glass. Results are updated online at McNary is leading in the competition and trying to defend its 2011 RecycleMania Champion title.

“I think our hall will win RecycleMania because we are all committed,” Shields said. “People in our hall like to participate in activities and we have a nice community. The winning hall will get the trophy to display for the next year, and a pizza party on the date of their choice at the end of winter term.

Each Eco Warrior is charged with maintaining a display showing how their hall is stacking up throughout the competition, updating their hall council on progress and being the go-to person for questions about recycling.

Shields is going above and beyond her basic duties, hanging additional signage and hosting a make-your-own reusable bag event, in which McNary residents decorated their own cloth bags. The bags were handmade by Lindsay Pritchard, a student in apparel design and secretary of the Residence Hall Association.

“I also hope to put on an event that will inform residents on the proper ways to recycle in the resident halls,” Taylor said.

The residence hall recycling competition is part of RecycleMania, a 10-week national recycling competition between universities, taking place Jan. 22 through March 31. OSU is competing nationally and in a civil war competition with the University of Oregon, and hosting various events throughout the competition. More information is available at

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