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10th Annual Collegiate "RecycleMania" Competition Announces Final Results

June 01, 2010

Category: Events, Students


RecycleMania607 Colleges and Universities Nationwide Compete to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

The ruckus heard across college campuses this spring was not just because of the NCAA basketball tournament. It was also RecycleMania season. Every spring, students across the country become RecycleManiacs competing for national supremacy to determine which school can reduce, reuse and recycle the most campus waste.

From January 17 to March 27, this 10-week challenge ignites classic college rivalries, rallying students, faculty and staff to increase on-campus recycling rates beyond their collegiate competitors. RecycleMania wrapped up its 10th anual recycling competition in late March, with over 84.5 million pounds of recyclables and organics recovered from 607 colleges and universities across the country.

"The growth success of RecycleMania proves that college campuses and students are embracing sustainability like never before," said Ed Skernolis, vice president/recycling, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. "Keep America Beautiful is proud to sponsor and support this incredible event, knowing that we are creating awareness and building momentum for recycling everywhere – at home, at school, at work and throughout the community."

The spirit of friendly competition sparked huge environmental gains. The total amount of recyclables and organic materials recovered during the 2010 competition added up to 84.5 million pounds, which in turn prevented the release of nearly 137,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). In real-world terms, this reduction in greenhouse gases is equivalent to the annual emissions from 23,850 passenger cars; electricity use of 15,140 homes; or the burning of 650 railcars’ worth of coal.

Green Pig Initiative"One unique aspect of RecycleMania is that everyone is a competitor," noted Bill Rudy, recycling coordinator at Brigham Young University and chair of the RecycleMania Steering Committee. "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 helps students rethink their waste," said Scott Vitters, director of sustainable packaging, The Coca-Cola Company. "Coca-Cola is a proud sponsor of the RecycleMania program. Through the course of the competition, they learn to recognize that bottles, cans, cardboard and paper are valuable recyclable materials."

Colleges and universities chose to participate in one of two divisions, either the Competition or Benchmark. The Competition Division houses the traditional competitive rankings based on standard tracking and reporting criteria. The Benchmark Division allows schools to unofficially compare themselves with other schools and to promote RecycleMania on campus without the formal reporting requirements of the competitive ranking. Within each division, schools participate in any of eight categories, including the "Grand Champion," which measures recycling as a percentage of the total waste generation; the "Per Capita Classic," which measures the largest amount of combined recyclables per person; the "Waste Minimization" competition, which tracks the lowest amount of waste per person; and the "Gorilla" Prize, which acknowledges the schools with the highest total combine recycling weights. In addition to these main categories, schools also compete in targeted material categories to see who can recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste on a per capita basis.

The "Grand Champion" top three finalists, determined by the percentage of overall waste that is recycled over 10 weeks, were:

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  • California State University-San Marcos (71.82 %) – San Marcos, CA ;
  • New Mexico State University (69.05 %) – Las Cruces, NM ;
  • American University (64.90 %) – Washington DC
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The "Per Capita Classic" top three finalists, determined by total pounds of recyclables collected per person over 10 weeks, were:

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  • United States Coast Guard Academy (81.75 pounds) – New London, CT ;
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (63.14 pounds) – Needham, MA ;
  • Colorado College (60.8 pounds) – Colorado Springs, CO ;
  • See Catawba's Rankings
;

The "Waste Minimization" top three finalists, determined by the lowest overall amount of waste (recyclables and trash) per person over 10 weeks, were:

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  • North Lake College (6.17 pounds) – Irving, TX ;
  • Harford Community College (7.87 pounds) – Bel Air, MD ;
  • Santa Monica College (8.13 pounds) – Santa Monica, CA
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The "Gorilla Prize" top three finalists, determined by the highest cumulative weight of recyclables over 10 weeks, were: Gorilla Prize

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  • Rutgers University (2,541,093 pounds) – Piscataway, NJ ;
  • Harvard University (996,760 pounds) – Cambridge, MA ;
  • Stanford University (888,884 pounds) – Stanford, CA ;
  • See Catawba's Ranking
;

Targeted Material (pounds per person over 10 weeks) Paper:

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  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (30.71 pounds) – Needham, MA ;
  • Westfield State College (23.89 pounds) – Westfield, MA ;
  • Medical University of South Carolina (21.64 pounds) – Charleston, SC ;
  • See Catawba's Ranking
;

Corrugated Cardboard:

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  • Kalamazoo College (25.23 pounds) – Kalamazoo, MI ;
  • Union College (23.14 pounds) – Schenectady, NY ;
  • Rutgers University (20.41 pounds) – Piscataway, NJ ;
  • See Catawba's Ranking
;

Bottles and Cans:

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  • Ursinus College (19.44 pounds) – Collegeville, PA ;
  • Kalamazoo College (16.29 pounds) – Kalamazoo, MI ;
  • Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering (15.45 pounds) – Needham, MA ;
  • See Catawba'a Ranking
;

Food Service Organics:

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  • Johnson & Wales University-Denver (41.79 pounds) – Denver, CO ;
  • United States Coast Guard Academy (37.49 pounds) – New London, CT ;
  • Middlebury College (29.31 pounds) – Middlebury, VT
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Top schools in each category earn "bragging rights," while the winners of each are recognized with an award made of recycled glass.

The RecycleMania competition is a program of the RecycleMania Steering Committee in coordination with the College and University Recycling Coalition <(CURC). Program management for RecycleMania is provided by Keep America Beautiful in coordination with the

U.S. EPA's WasteWise program. RecycleMania is made possible through the sponsorship support of The Coca-Cola Company, American Forest & Paper Association and Keep America Beautiful.

About RecycleMania
RecycleMania was launched in 2001 as a friendly challenge between Ohio University and Miami University to increase recycling on their campuses. The contest has expanded rapidly in nine years’ time from two schools in 2001 to 607 colleges and universities in 2010 spanning 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. Over a 10-week period, campuses compete to see which institution can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest recycling rate. For complete competition background and details, visit the RecycleMania website at www.recyclemaniacs.org.


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