Get Your RecycleMania On!

I remember hearing about RecycleMania when I was in college. Even though my school always had a green mindset, we didn’t join the RecycleMania tournament until 2008 or 2009 and while the school is doing wonders with waste minimization, there is a long way to go in other areas.

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RecycleMania is a competition among colleges and universities geared towards reducing waste and expanding recycling and composting programs. The participating schools measure and report the amount of recycling and trash collected each week for eight weeks. This competition has taken place each Spring since its launch in 2001 and it has the following goals (taken from the RecycleMania website):
  • Motivate students and staff to increase recycling efforts and reduce waste generation
  • Generate attention and support for campus recycling programs
  • Encourage colleagues to measure and benchmark recycling activity in their effort to improve their programs over time
  • Have a fair and friendly competition

Unfortunately, many of us – including myself at times – don’t know what can be recycled and what cannot. In addition, many cities, including college towns, don’t take certain recyclable items nor do they educate the public on what they do recycle. The RecycleMania program allows millions of students each year to learn about recycling and take the information back to their hometowns. It can also inspire a town or community to expand its recycling programs or start one if one doesn’t already exist.

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Over 700 colleges and universities have participated in RecycleMania and over the years have prevented the release of so much carbon dioxide, it equates to take 7 million – that’s right, seven MILLION – cars off the road for a year. This program continues to gain momentum and has even motivated my own college to become carbon neutral by 2035.

If you are a college student, a faculty member or a staff member at a college or university, look into RecycleMania for your campus! You get national recognition if your campus wins and you get to help your school save the planet! One bin of recycling at a time. How cool is that?