Let the games begin. RecycleMania is a friendly competition among college and university recycling programs in the U.S. and Canada. Each spring, schools compete to reduce waste, increase recycling and raise awareness of conservation issues across campus. RecycleMania officially began in February 2001 when Ohio University’s Ed Newman and Stacy Edmonds Wheeler from Miami University decided to do something to increase recycling in the residence and dining halls on their campuses. During that first competition, Miami and Ohio, already sporting rivals, went head to head to see which school could recycle the most. Miami University won the challenge. This year, 500+ schools are registered, including 10 Canadian colleges and universities. One of those schools is Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. This is the school’s second year participating in the nationwide competition. The impetus to become involved came from Mary Aldrich from MinnKota Recycling, located across the river in Fargo, ND, from Moorhead. She encouraged the school’s participation thinking this would be a fun way to raise campus awareness about recycling. Sarah Kjorlien is a member of the school’s busy Student Environmental Alliance and is the point person for its recycling committee. Kjorlien hopes Concordia continues to step up its participation each year. Concordia is competing in the Per Capita Classic category, the traditional RecycleMania competition format in which schools compete to see which can collect the most combined recyclables. Last year, Concordia came in 273rd out of 363 schools. Kjorlien anticipates scores in last year’s competition might “feed some reform here at Concordia.” But in this contest there are no losers, because, as RecycleMania’s site reminds us, “all participants win through their achievements in waste reduction and recycling.” Kjorlien also believes, “Recycling at Concordia is an area with lots of potential for improvement,” and says that the competition is “run very smoothly and the organization in charge does a great job of making it engaging and providing resources for competing schools.” RecycleMania, an annual competition pitting more than 500 colleges and universities against each other in recycling and composting competitions, is now in its 12th year. The 2012 competition, which began February 5, runs through March 31. For more information about RecycleMania, visit recyclemania.org.
RecycleMania 2012 at Concordia College
The Minnesota liberal arts college’s goal is to improve its recycling numbers during its second year in the competition.