UC-Berkeley-RecycleMania.jpg RecycleMania 2014 is now halfway done, with more than 450 colleges across the U.S. and Canada taking part in different recycling challenges that will reduce their waste and make a difference in their respective communities. One of those colleges is the University of California at Berkeley. UC is taking part in the competition division, which includes eight different categories where schools compete: the Per Capita Classic, Waste Minimization, the Gorilla Prize, Targeted Materials, “E-cycleMania,” Film Plastic, Game Day and the Grand Champion. These categories allow schools to focus on minimizing their waste and being more eco-friendly through creative ways. This year, UC has pledged to minimize its waste in four different ways. The school is creating an exchange program on campus for office supplies, offering a discount to those who take reusable mugs to campus dining operations, offering reusable utensils and other dinnerware for sit-down dining facilities and creating programs to educate employees and students about how to minimize waste. Presentations will be given to campus groups and departments on waste minimization, including new employees and students. UC’s campus population measures more than 48,000, so if the campus works as a whole to reduce its waste, a major impact can be made. In fact, UC’s recycling program is looking to make a major impact, as it is currently aiming to reach zero waste by 2020. Four weeks in, UC has recycled nearly 200,000 pounds of waste, with an average weekly recycling rate of nearly 22%. There is still a lot of work to be done in the final four weeks of competition, but, by being proactive, UC can not only work to be RecycleMania champions, but also zero-waste role models. Check out UC’s weekly progress here throughout March and into April.