Fordham Notes: Queens Court and McMahon Hall Triumph in RecycleMania

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Queens Court and McMahon Hall Triumph in RecycleMania

In the end, it was a queen’s world.

Queens Court, the three-building complex comprised of St. John's, St. Robert's and Bishop's Halls on Fordham’s Rose Hill campus, beat ten other residence halls at Rose Hill and Lincoln Center in the University’s first RecycleMania contest.

The ten-week long national competition wrapped up last week, and when the final numbers were tabulated, Queens Court had recycled both the most paper and cardboard at 35.93 pounds per person, and the most glass, metal and plastic, at 42.22 pounds per person.

McMahon Hall, the lone residence hall at Lincoln Center campus, took home first prize for an achievement of the opposite sort: Residents there generated the least amount of trash generated over all, at 84.15 pounds per person.

This is the first year Fordham participated in the contest, in the informal “Benchmark” division. Rounding out the rest of the results were:

1. Queens Court: 35.93 pounds per person, or 4,850 pounds total
2. Campbell Hall: 27.51 pounds per person, or 7,570 pounds total
2. Walsh Hall: 26.32 pounds per person, or 10,950 pounds total

1. Queens Court: 42.22 pounds per person, or 5,699 pounds total
2. Salice-Conley Hall: 39.13 pounds per person, or 8,765 pounds total
3. Campbell Hall: 38.91 pounds per person, or 8,133 pounds total

1. McMahon Hall: 84.15 pounds per person, or 74,137 pounds total
2. Loschert Hall: 115.28 pounds per person, or 29,512 pounds total
3. Alumni South: 122.93 pounds per person, or 37,125 pounds total

While the rest of the residence halls were not far behind the leaders, there were some exceptions. Martyr’s Court, for instance, recycled 17.23 pounds of paper and cardboard per person and 22.90 pounds of glass, metal and plastic per person. Those weren’t the lowest numbers for either category—those honors belong to McMahon Hall and Tierney Hall, respectively—but they do help explain another number: 482.11, the number of pounds of trash generated per person there.

Robert Freda, director of the Custodial Services department, said two issues were at play at Martyr’s Court that they would work with the Department of Residential Life to address. Although magnetic signs distributed by RecycleMania were posted around the building, he said student awareness could be improved.

They also need to re-examine the locations of the collection bins in Martyr’s Court. Because some of the closets where trash is collected are not big enough to also accommodate recycling bins, Freda noted that some of the bins had to be placed in lounges instead. That absence of consistency, and not residents’ apathy, was probably the cause of the spike in trash.

“The containers are there for recycling, but we want to make it as easy as we can for students to know where they are,” he said.

All told, the average diversion rate over the past ten weeks for the residence halls was about 22 percent, according to Great Forest, a consulting firm that crunched the numbers for Fordham. So the competition provided a good look at the ratio of trash to recyclables generated overall from the residence halls.

—Patrick Verel

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