RecycleMania Wraps Up 11th Annual Recycling Competition at 630 College Campuses

By Kirsten E. Silven - 20 Apr 2011 6:41:1 GMT
RecycleMania Wraps Up 11th Annual Recycling Competition at 630 College Campuses

The recent eight-week RecycleMania challenge is part of an annual joint effort between the students, staff and faculty of 630 colleges and universities from across the US. The goal is to compete with rival schools and expand on-campus recycling programs at a faster rate than the competition.

2011 saw more than 91 million lbs of recyclable and organic materials recovered and recycled. This staggering figure is estimated to directly reduce the amount of greenhouses gases that are emitted into the atmosphere by the equivalent of a year's worth of emissions from almost 53 million passenger cars, or the burning of close to 1.5 million railcars' worth of coal.

RecycleMania takes place from early February through early April and incorporates eight total categories and three main categories. In 2011, the Grand Champion winner was California State University-San Marcos, which recycled nearly 80 percent of its overall waste. Also of note, Union College in Schenectady, New York, took home the Per Capita Classic award for recycling more than 55 pounds of waste per person, while North Lake College in Irving, Texas, won the Waste Minimizing award for having the lowest overall amount of waste per person at just over 3 pounds.

In describing the thinking behind the competition, Bill Rudy, who is the recycling coordinator at Brigham Young University and chair of the RecycleMania Steering Committee, said, ''One unique aspect of RecycleMania is that everyone is a competitor. No one sits on the sidelines. When a student recycles they add to their score and if they throw something away it hurts the school's ranking. With the whole campus in the game, the competitive spirit spreads and recycling increases.''

RecycleMania is supported by the sponsorship of SCA Tissue, The Coca-Cola Company, Alcoa Foundation, Waste Management, Keep America Beautiful and the American Forest & Paper Association. All winning schools receive an award that is manufactured from recycled glass… and bragging rights, of course!

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