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Northwestern Celebrates Earth Day with Mount Trashmore

Eight-foot pile of garbage raises awareness about campus recycling efforts

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May 12, 2009 | by Matt Paolelli
Watch highlights from the 2009 Mount Trashmore event. The mountain of trash represents how much garbage is generated on campus every six hours and raises awareness about campus recycling programs.

Anyone strolling Northwestern's campus on April 22 was in for an unusual sight: a man in a skin-tight green suit standing near an eight-foot mountain of garbage.

This seemingly strange display was actually an Earth Day demonstration known as Mount Trashmore. For the second year in a row, Facilities Management and several eco-friendly student groups joined forces to erect a mountain of trash representing how much garbage is generated on campus every six hours and raising awareness about campus recycling programs.

Thanks to newly instituted recycling efforts, the mountain is seven percent smaller than it was last year, said Julie Cahillane, manager of recycling and refuse.

Students were also encouraged to sign sustainability pledges outlining specific actions they could take to "go green" on campus.