Unversity-Washington-RecycleMania.jpgAs another year of RecycleMania competition gets underway, we look at another great institution: the University of Washington. Located in the heart of Seattle, UW is now celebrating 150 years of excellence. Being one of the oldest universities on the West Coast, UW has a reputation to uphold, including its stance on environmental leadership. As we enter into the meat of the 2014 competition, UW is yet again rolling out a plan to reduce and recycle more effectively. With an enrollment of nearly 45,000 students, UW is providing innovative recycling, composting and waste-reduction solutions and education. This past year, UW dining locations proudly serving Starbucks coffee on campus converted to compostable cups, lids and sleeves to cut back on landfilled waste. Just by recycling coffee cups, UW hopes to meet its self-imposed 70% waste diversion goal. Besides the basic recycling of paper, plastic and bottles, there is great pressure to go above and beyond to be a sustainable campus when located in a city known for its greenness. With so many commuters on this campus, it can be a struggle to pass along word of the RecycleMania competition. But, with its past successes in the competition — the school recycled nearly half-a-million pounds in 2013’s contest — there is hope to push things a bit further in 2014. At press time, three weeks into the eight-week test, more than 166,000 pounds have been recycled, for an average of 3.17 pounds per person. That weight total is good enough for a top-30 start in a field of more than 460, but how will the school finish? The next month and change will tell the story as to whether or not its recycling practices can grow year to year.