For over a decade the University has participated in the nation-wide competition known as RecycleMania. So what is all the “mania” about and how did we do? Starting at the beginning, RecycleMania is a nationwide competition in which colleges and universities track their recycling and waste data for an 8-week period to see who can divert the most material from the landfill. There are five main competition categories and other optional one-time reporting categories. What started off as a friendly competition between between Ohio University and Miami University in 2001, has grown tremendously. The 2017 tournament featured 320 schools participating from 46 states in the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada, with an enrollment of 4.1 million students. Between the Feb. 5 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in on April 1, participating schools recycled or composted 69.9 million pounds of waste, preventing the release of 77,791 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 16,400 cars!
Congratulations to Loyola Marymount University and Rhode Island School of Design have been crowned the winners of the 2017 RecycleMania competition! With a recycling rate of more than 83.9 percent, Loyola Marymount University is the top school in the Diversion category, while the Rhode Island School of Design is first in the Per Capita Classic category. Complete results for these and other categories can be found at recyclemania.org, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state, and other groupings. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials.
So how did UR do? Here’s a summary of our results:
- Diversion Category – Ranked 121 out of 190, with a Waste Diversion Rate of 27.045%
- Per Capita Classic – Ranked 48 out of 245 (3rd in New York!), collecting 18.42 pounds per person
- Total Recycling – Ranked 39 our of 214 (4th in New York!), collecting 434,715 pounds altogether
- Targeted Materials
- Paper – Ranked 20 out of 68, collecting 3.985 pounds per person
- Cardboard – Ranked 14 out of 73, collecting 6.959 pounds per person
- Bottles and Cans – Ranked 10 out of 59, collecting 3.977 pounds per person
- Organics – Ranked 75 out of 134, collecting 3.639 pounds per person
Perhaps as important (if not more) than the actual competition results, is the platform RecycleMania offers for participants to promote their waste reduction and sustainability initiatives. Each year Facilities Team Green calls on other student groups and organizations to plan events and promotional activities for the competition. This year a featured kick-off event sponsored by Grassroots in which students received free reusable (and decorate-able) coffee mugs and a symposium for the EcoReps to present their eco-friendly projects and initiatives. Team Green also led a Caught Green Handed campaign featured on our social media pages. No matter the score, UR optimizes RecycleMania to promote more of what we do every day. Go Green!