RecycleMania Wrap-up

With all of the exciting spring sustainability happenings going on around here, such as Earth Day and the Move-out Cleanout efforts, there just hasn’t been nearly enough time to blog about RecycleMania one more time to discuss the final results and how it all ended. 

Well, the University of Rochester once again ended up scoring pretty great!!  Out of 363 participating schools we came out in 43th place in the Per Capita Challenge, outranking some of our friends like John Hopkins, Princeton, and Harvard. We held our own in the Targeted Materials category ranking 22 out of 226 for paper, 21 out of 219 for bottles and cans, and 23 out of 231 for cardboard. But, we were the most impressive in the Gorilla Prize finishing at 29th place out of 363 schools!! With that score we left Yale, Emory, John Hopkins, and Brown in the dust! Download this year’s official press release  to read more about the final results.

Congratulations to Cal State San Marcos for claiming the Grand Champion prize for the 6th year in a row! But the truly impressive part of this competition is the collective result of all of the participating schools combined. All of the competitors together recycled 91 million (that’s right MILLION) pounds of material, which saved 270 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) from being released into the air. It looks like with results like those, everyone who did their part this year can walk away a winner.

But of course, this competition really isn’t all about winners and losers. More importantly, it’s about about spreading awareness and sending a message about the importance of recycling and waste reduction. The U of R accomplished this by holding some fun filed promotional events, like Water Week, taking a tour of the local recycling center, and through the eye opening waste minimization exercise of Mt. Trashmore. Each year the RecycleMania creators update their webpage with new ideas for promotion by sharing what other schools have done. So hopefully next year we can continue on and maybe even borrow a few ideas from some of the other participants.

So, let’s take a second to pat ourselves on the back. But then let’s remind ourselves that just because the competition is over this year, does not mean that we should forget about recycling and waste minimization the rest of the year. Especially now that the weather outside is finally staring to look like what we have waiting through a very long winter for, we can get out and enjoy nature and do our part to keep it beautiful!

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