Sustainability contest aims for top 5 Gorilla status

Reusable drink containersDon’t get caught red handed — get caught green handed.

Office of Sustainability volunteers will be on the lookout for students, staff and faculty using reusable water bottles and coffee mugs March 9 to 13.

Those who are spotted will get a button and certificate for their environmentally friendly action. They can post a selfie with the button on Instagram with the phrase, “I got #CaughtGreenHanded by @SustainableUIC during #Recyclemania2015,” for a chance to win a prize valued at $50.

The initiative is part of RecycleMania, an annual two-month national competition for college and university recycling programs. Although there are 10 categories in the competition, the Office of Sustainability’s goal is to be in the Top 5 in the Gorilla category.

The Gorilla Prize recognizes schools with the highest gross tonnage of recycled paper, cardboard, cans and bottles regardless of campus population.

“This category really speaks to our large university that already has an extensive program,” said Carla Pierre Gini, business administrative associate for the Office of Sustainability. “We’ve narrowed it down and we’re trying to be bold in our goal. By going Gorilla, it gives us a focus.”

And the prize for the Gorilla category?

“Glory, bragging rights and a sense of accomplishment,” Gini said. “Plus, it puts UIC out there as a large university committed to recycling and sustainability with the numbers to prove it.”

With 194,832 pounds of recycled waste so far, UIC holds the No. 1 slot in the Gorilla category for Illinois and comes in 26 overall.

Interested in volunteering to catch someone green handed? Post a photo of yourself and the person you caught on Instagram with the phrase, “#ICaughtYouGreenHanded with @SustainableUIC during #Recyclemania2015.”

“Everybody can perform a citizen’s arrest,” Gini said.

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