UT will once again take on the Florida Gators — but this time off the basketball court.
The 4th annual "Recyclympics" will take place from 1 to 4 p.m. today in the Humanities amphitheater, as a part of "RecycleMania."
Jay Price, an environmental coordinator with UT Recycling, hopes the "Recyclympics" will raise awareness about the UT Recycling program.
"It's primarily an awareness event," Price said. "... We usually give students the opportunity to volunteer with (the 'Recyclympics') and learn more about (the UT Recycling) program."
The "Recyclympics" will include six different recycling themed Olympic-style games: the phone book shot put, plastic bottle free throw, bottle-cap-in-a-haystack, plastic bottle hammer throw, mouse ball throw and inflatable obstacle course.
Students can compete individually or as a team. If they make it through all the events, they receive a free recycling T-shirt and are entered into a random drawing for other prizes.
The "Recyclympics" will also help raise awareness of "RecycleMania," an eight-week intercollegiate recycling tournament among more than 500 colleges and universities.
"'RecycleMania' is a competition ... to see who can come out on top in a group of categories," Nick Alderson, a student worker for UT Recycling, said. "(The categories include) waste minimization, paper recycling, plastic and cans recycling and corrugated cardboard recycling."
Price emphasized the rivalry with Florida to encourage the Volunteer community to participate.
"I try and target one specific university that will resonate with ... campus," he said. "The last three or four years, I've picked Florida. We've beaten them most years ... right now it's pretty close."
Alderson, a senior in environmental studies and sustainability, hopes the fun and games will encourage students to make recycling a bigger priority in their lives.
"By participating, the campus community can learn the benefits of recycling their bottles and cans instead of throwing them away," he said. "Especially in (places like) the library where there are recycling bins on every corner.
"I hope that increased awareness will lead to higher recycling rates here on campus," Alderson added. "We definitely have a great recycling program here at UT but students are unaware or just don't care."
Price echoed Alderson's sentiments, focusing on the recruitment aspect as well.
"Recycling can be fun and we're (UT recycling) an important part of campus," Price said "... (I hope people) come out and learn a little bit about UT Recycling as an organization and hopefully find an opportunity to get involved with us on campus ... (and) to have fun and raise awareness."
Prince said he thinks that the biggest reason people do not recycle on campus is they just do not think about it.
The event is geared specifically towards students, but anyone is welcome to participate. More information about UT Recycling, recycling programming and events can be found at environment.utk.edu/recycling. UT Recycling can also be liked on Facebook and followed on Twitter at @utkrecycling.