Ready, Set, RecycleMania!

To members of the college, welcome back. We hope that the break has rejuvenated you with enough energy to trounce the competition in the intercollegiate annual recycling tournament, RecycleMania! RecycleMania is a friendly competition between hundreds of colleges and universities across the country and the University of Rochester is participating once again. The fun begins January 20th and continues over a ten week stretch. The first two pre-game weeks give participants a chance to arrange and test out their data collection methods. During the following eight weeks the competition officially begins in high gear with the weights of trash and recyclables ranked amongst competitors.

Not only does the competition serve to amp up recycling initiatives at the campus level, but the collective results add up big. Last year, 6.2 million staff and students recycled a grand total of 94.4 million pounds with a greenhouse gas reduction of 148,897 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Individual schools are awarded prizes as follows:

Grand Champion – awarded to the school with the best recycling rate as a percentage of its overall waste generation

Per Capita Classic – awarded to the school with the largest combined amount of recycled paper, cardboard, and bottles and cans per person

Waste Minimization – awarded to the school that produces the least amount of municipal solid waste per person

Gorilla Prize – awarded to the school that recycles the highest gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, and bottles and cans regardless of population

Targeted Materials – awarded to the school that recycles the highest gross tonnage in the categories of Paper, Corrugated Cardboard, Bottles and Bans, Food Service Organics, and Electronics

This year at the University of Rochester, an extensive Planning Committee was formed by the University Recycling Office and Grassroots, to coordinate a full lineup of promotional events and activities.  Many partners have joined the committee including SA recognized student organizations: Engineers for a Sustainable World, College Democrats, GreenSpace, Sigma Alpha Mu, and Delta Upsilon. Other groups include the Facilities and Dining Team Green students, the Microfarm, Global Water Brigades, and EcoReps. Each week of the competition will have a different sustainability related theme containing tailored events coordinated by different student groups and individuals. For example, during the week themed “Water Conservation”, there will be a Ban the Bottle Panel hosted by Dining’s Team Green, a presentation of the work done by Global Water Brigades, and a Screening of the movie Flow. Aside from “Recycling” and “Landfill Waste”, some of the other themes include “Sustainable Agriculture/Composting”, “Energy Conservation”, and even “Art”. Together these events and themes will sustain vigor for Recyclemania throughout the student body and keep our recycling numbers strong. For a full calendar of RecycleMania events click here. Please note that some events will be updated.

There will be opportunities to win prizes and have fun with a trivia contest in the Weekly Buzz and tabling every Wednesday in Wilson Commons with various themed activities. Also throughout the competition, EcoReps will be on the lookout for students, faculty, and staff to be caught “green handed”! You can get caught and win a prize for recycling, turning off lights, using a reusable mug or water bottle, or other similar green habits anywhere around campus. You can even get caught promoting RecycleMania by wearing a “Go Green Pledge”, “RecycleMania” or “America Recycles Day” button on your backpack or clothing.

RecycleMania 2013 promises to be an exciting and productive time for the University of Rochester. For more information about the University’s participation or upcoming events, contact Amy Kadrie at

For more information about the prizes, participating schools, and FAQs about the tournament, visit the RecycleMania website.

By Alanna Scheinerman, Class of 2013

7 Replies to “Ready, Set, RecycleMania!”

  1. It is now Sunday and a second e-mail and call went to the organization with no response, not even confirmation of my question. Might I ask that you do the same thing, and show evidence for where these data come from? I am sure you are more likely to get a response than me.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion Beth. I just sent a note and left a message at that number with my request. But it would seem to me that if we are using that as factual data on a college sponsored website that we ought to be able to have that sourced and demonstrated here as well. I know I’m pretty much a big time loser, but I don’t really think it is reasonable to track down the source of everything claimed on sites as such.

    I hope to share their findings with you shortly.

  3. Could you please show me how this is calculated:

    “Last year, 6.2 million staff and students recycled a grand total of 94.4 million pounds with a greenhouse gas reduction of 148,897 metric tons of CO2 equivalent”

    I have asked about this before and received no response. And how does this finding square with the economic research that recycling of household items like paper, plastic, containers, cardboard, etc. is not cost effective? What problem is it solving and at what cost? For example, if the damages from a ton of CO2 are about $30 per ton, do programs like this use more or less resources than $30 per ton to eliminate the CO2? The quote above is claiming that the program created about $4.5 million in (PDV) climate benefits.

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