A SUNY Oswego student-led recycling effort and social media campaign recently won one of eight honors nationally in a first-ever competition sponsored by the sustainability organization RecycleMania.

The college earned one of four honorable mentions in the 3R (Reuse-Reduce-Recycle) Actions Challenge for racking up 700 actions in a peer-to-peer recycling education project called Garbage Pail Kids. Among 104 colleges and universities participating in the competition, the champions in four size divisions included University at Albany in the medium-size category.

Chelsea Frisbie, a senior broadcasting and mass communication major interning with SUNY Oswego’s Sustainability Office, created Garbage Pail Kids this semester with sustainability program coordinator Jamie Adams. Volunteers stationed at waste containers around campus worked to counter what Frisbie felt was a “general disconnect” about what items are or are not recyclable.

The 20-plus-member team in the RecycleMania competition produced more than 700 texts and photos of the campaign through myActions.org, a college network to engage students and deliver real-world impact in green, caring and healthy initiatives.

“It’s really about showing that recycling is not only easy, it’s necessary for sustainability in our lives,” said Frisbie, who is aiming for a broadcast career in television.

Adams congratulated Frisbie on the “immense success” of Garbage Pail Kids, and said the impact of winning honors in such competitions goes beyond the immediate.

“It’s really exciting. It kind of puts us on the map as having an active sustainability program,” Adams said. “Moreover, it shows we are reaching out to the college’s students in new and different ways.”

The Sustainability Office this semester has motivated students to participate in a bike share program, a Wednesday Wagon informational program, interactive tables with sustainability information, recycling-themed games and the Farm to SUNY buy-local initiative, among others.

Other champions in the 3R Actions Challenge included Ohio State University, University of Texas-Arlington and Chatham University. Other honorable mention winners were University of Virginia, Butler University and Ferrum College.