From Yellowjackets to Recyclemaniacs

Fierce competition, distinguished rankings… and recycling? Well that is exactly what Recyclemania, a benchmarking tool for college and university recycling programs, is all about! A friendly competition participated in by over 500 colleges and universities across North America, Recyclemania occurs over a ten-week period annually. This marks the first of eight “competition” weeks that run through March 31st. The main goal of the competition is to have the highest recycling rates per capita, as well as the least amount of weight of waste per capita in each institution. Another goal that is very much a part of this competition is to engage college campus and encourage each individual to do their part to succeed.

Each year that the University has participated in Recyclemania, they have been supported by Grassroots, the University of Rochester’s largest student sustainability group. This year, the Grassroots committee for Recyclemania is led by Robert Simeral (senior) and Leah Mould (freshman). They have planned events designed to raise awareness of and support for the competition and have created a facebook page to help promote the activities. This year’s events include:

  • February 17th: Monroe County Recycling Center Tours
  • February 25th: Basketball Game Promotions
  • March 23rd: “Mount Trashmore”
  • March 31st: Open Mic Finale Event at the Community Living Center

“This competition is something everyone on campus can get into,” says Mould. “It is about all of the people working, living and studying at the [University of Rochester] coming together to be a greener campus.”

MAGBAGS are created from recycled banners and are available for sale at the Memorial Art Gallery store.

Responsible for reporting all of the numbers for entry in the competition is Amy Kadrie, University Recycling Coordinator. Amy is also heading a trivia contest, which will run in the Weekly Buzz throughout the duration of the competition. This year’s eco-friendly prizes will feature some special items from the Memorial Art Gallery, including “MAGBAGS” made from recycled event banners.

The members of the University community aren’t the only ones excited about this competition.  “Because both Waste Management and the [University of Rochester] share the same commitment to sustainability and stewardship to the environment, it was an obvious combination,” says Brenda Mickol of Waste Management, the University’s disposal provider, which partners with the school for Recyclemania. “Plus it’s a friendly competition and any time we can have fun, while maintaining our commitment to recycling, it’s a win-win.”

More official information on the competition can be found on the Recyclemania webpage, and more details about promotional events will be available on the RecycleMania at U of R Facebook page. Watch for the results to be posted later in the Spring!

Love watching the University compete to be green? Check out Rochester’s impressive results in the Game Day Challenge, a friendly competition sponsored by the EPA for colleges and universities to reduce waste at their football games.

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