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Governor O'Malley Challenges State Workers To Recycle

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Recycle more. That's the challenge from Governor Martin O'Malley to state employees who are now in competition with each other.

Andrea Fujii has the story.

Pitting state employee against state employee, it's a directive straight from the top. The governor is hoping a little friendly competition will encourage everyone to recycle. And it comes just in time for Earth Day.

Sean Stinnett is one of thousands of state employees participating in the new initiative to recycle.

"We think about just as far as giving back and being able to re-use a lot of items," Stinnett said.

It's meant to challenge workers to outdo each other.

"We are distributing these boxes so that people can keep them right at their desks if they want," said O'Malley.

Teams within departments will be in competition to see who can recycle the most. And no one is exempt.

"I will be in the competition, too. My team will include workers in the State House, Shaw House and the Jeffrey Building," O'Malley said.

By law state agencies are required to recycle at least 20 percent of their waste. This challenge hopes to get that number up to 30 percent.

The challenge was announced on Lawyers' Mall in Annapolis in front of school children in hopes it'll challenge them as well.

"You don't have to be an adult to make a difference. A kid can make a difference, too," said an elementary school student.

And as with any contest, it may get a little dirty.

"I know we're going to do a little trash talking through these two months," Stinnett said.

The competition continues through June 1. Whichever team has a higher recycling to waste ratio wins.

The prize is a plaque, but mainly bragging rights.

The challenge is just in central Maryland right now, but will extend to the entire state later in the year.

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