It’s not a football game or a fraternity war. This is collegiate competition at its greenest. Universities across the U.S. are in full swing of a 10-week recycling competition called RecycleMania. RecycleMania started at Miami University and Ohio University in 2001. These two schools began the friendly recycling competition and Miami University triumphed. Each year the competition grew, and in 2004 RecycleMania partnered with the EPA’s WasteWise program, further increasing the competition’s popularity. This year’s competition is the biggest one yet; so far 607 schools have registered to compete. The race began on January 17 and schools have until March 27 to prove they are the greenest university around. Schools are divided into two separate divisions to level the playing field. The Competition Division participants are actively tracking their weekly recycling data. The Benchmark Division participants can track their data, but are bound to less formal rules. Different areas of competition allow for more winners and more flexibility in focus. The Grand Champion prize goes to the school with the highest recycling rate compared to its waste. The Stephen K. Glasi Per Capita Classic rewards the university with the most recycled materials per capita. The school that records the lowest total waste per capita, including trash and recycling, receives the Waste Minimization award. Bigger schools may be contenders for the Gorilla Prize; this award goes to the school with the highest volume of recycled materials, regardless of population. The Targeted Materials prize involves four categories of specific materials. Schools can win in the following areas: most paper recycled per capita, most corrugated cardboard recycled per capita, most bottles and cans recycled per capita and most food service organics per capita (including compostable dinnerware, pre- and post-consumer food waste, etc.). Category winners will receive awards made from recycled materials.
RecycleMania: A Friendly College Competition Takes Off
It’s not a football game or a fraternity war. This is collegiate competition at its greenest.