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Students Conquer Mt. Trashmore, Help Divert Recyclables from Landfills

February 26, 2014 -- More than 70 CNM students sorted through trash from two large buildings on Main Campus Wednesday, separating recyclables from actual waste as part of an event featuring a trash-littered shrine to recycling awareness – Mount Trashmore.
Students Conquer Mt. Trashmore, Help Divert Recyclables from Landfills

Students sort through trash at Mount Trashmore event.

The event gave students an idea of how much recyclable trash is unnecessarily thrown away at the college and taken to the dump on a daily basis instead of a recycling plant.

Trash collected on Tuesday from JS and the Student Resources Center was piled high on a large tarp in the grassy area outside of the SRC, then CNM students started picking out recyclables and diverting them from landfills. Plenty of plastic water bottles, cardboard, paper products and other recyclables were picked out of the trash that was destined for the dump.

“This was a real learning event for everyone,” said Asa Stone, a CNM psychology instructor who was involved in the organization of Mount Trashmore and is using the event to teach her students how behavioral psychology relates to recycling.

Recyclables found in trash at Mount Trashmore.
Recyclables found at Mount Trashmore.
Participating students were provided with protective clothing, including coveralls, gloves, safety glasses, plastic shoe-covers and hand-held claws to pick up trash. They also were required to wear closed-toed shoes and sign a waiver to be involved in the Mount Trashmore event.

Just before the noon break, CNM President Katharine Winograd said that recycling is important for future generations. “I want them to know the beauty of this world as I have seen it.” She later thanked all the students for their participation.

The Mount Trashmore event was held in conjunction with CNM’s participation in the ongoing RecycleMania Tournament in which CNM is competing against colleges and universities across the country for recycling excellence. CNM currently ranks 27th among 227 colleges and universities for the percentage of waste that’s being recycled. CNM is currently recycling about 54 percent of its overall waste.