RecycleMania 2019 Results

Plastic pollution and solid waste disposal are rising as a critical threat to the world’s wildlife and to human health. There are few solutions to this problem as important as engaging and educating America’s future leaders on the dangers of solid waste and plastics build-up, and how the problem can be addressed through reduction of use, recycling, composting, and more.


The RecycleMania competition is designed to educate and challenge students, staff and faculty at U.S, college campuses to compete for best in category by reducing and recycling the most waste in an prescribed eight week period. The competition measures such factors as how much of a campus’s waste stream is recycled, how much is diverted, per capita results, food waste abatement and more. It also examines the effect of education on young people avoiding single-use plastics such as disposable bottles and packaging.


Some 300 campuses in 43 states competed in RecycleMania in 2019 engaging 4.25 million students and 900,000 faculty and staff for a total of more than 5.1 million participants.

From Feb. 3 to March 30, the participating colleges and universities recycled or composted (and donated to food banks and farms and used for biofuels) 65.5 million pounds of waste. In these eight weeks, the participants prevented the release of 99,254 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 20,895 of cars.


Conratulations to the winners! Loyola Marymount University in California wins in two of the main RecycleMania categories – the diversion category recognizes Loyola for the highest waste diversion percentage of 89%, and the per capita category awards Loyola for recycling the largest combined amount of paper, cardboard and bottles and cans on a per person basis (both students and staff); Loyola’s per capita for the 2019 competition was 78 lbs. per person. Knox College in Illinois takes first place in Food Organics, for donating close to 5,000 pounds of food to a local food bank.


RecycleMania also features special categories that require one time reporting during the 8 week time frame. Southwestern College in California wins for the Electronics category for highest per capita, and Saint Louis University in Missouri wins for total amount recycled; Union College in New York wins the Race to Zero Waste category for their efforts to significantly reduce their waste stream in one building over a one month period; and Ohio State University (highest diversion rate) and Rutgers University (highest per capita) lead the way for GameDay Basketball.


Summary of the University of Rochester’s Scores:

  • Diversion Category – Ranked 120 out of 159 (13th in New York!), with a Waste Diversion Rate of 23.86%
  • Per Capita Classic – Ranked 65 out of 214 (9th in New York!), collecting 13.71 pounds per person
  • Total Recycling – Ranked 42 our of 251 (4th in New York!), collecting  437,794 pounds altogether
  • Cardboard – Ranked 9 out of 89, collecting 197,784 pounds, 10.1 pounds per person
  • Organics – Ranked 25 out of 148 (2nd in New York!), collecting 21.56 pounds per person


Complete results for these and other categories can be found at, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by Carnegie, as well by state, athletic conference and other groupings. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials.