392 Colleges Compete in RecycleMania Tournament
STAMFORD, CT — During the next two months, classic college rivalries will break out of the basketball arena and into the recycling ring as schools compete in RecycleMania, a competition that builds school spirit and encourages waste reduction and recycling on campuses nationwide.
Schools compete in several weight-based categories that measure recycling and waste reduction per capita, as well as overall campus recycling weights and recycling and composting as a percentage of total waste generated. Each week, schools report their data and receive updated rankings to compare against their rivals and rally student participation. The “Game Day: Basketball” category brings the excitement courtside, challenging schools to reduce waste and increase recycling during a selected home basketball game.
This year’s competition will include a new way for students to participate in RecycleMania. By posting digital messages and “selfies” to document their waste reduction or recycling actions, students will earn points to determine their school’s standing in the new “3R Actions Challenge” category. This integrated social media, text and web-based competition is offered through an engagement platform called “my Actions.”
“We’re thrilled to expand the scope of RecycleMania for our fifteenth anniversary,” says RecycleMania, Inc. President Stacy Wheeler. “RecycleMania is about engaging students. It’s crucial to recognize schools that excel in inspiring individuals to take action, from composting an apple core to recycling a bottle.”
This year, 392 schools, 4.5 million students, and 1.1 million faculty and staff are participating in 48 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. New York leads the pack with 34 colleges participating, followed by Texas (25) and Massachusetts (25). In 2014, 86 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which prevented the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 24,846 cars from the road for one year.
“RecycleMania provides a way for students to get involved and make a difference in their campus communities,” says Keep America Beautiful Senior Vice President/Recycling Brenda Pulley. “Keep America Beautiful is proud to support RecycleMania as part of our efforts to reduce waste and increase recycling.”
RecycleMania is made possible with the generous sponsorship support of Alcoa Foundation and The Coca-Cola Company, as well as program management by Keep America Beautiful.
“College students are important influencers and consumers, so the more they know about the benefits of aluminum recycling, the more they can help drive recycling on America’s college campuses. RecycleMania is a terrific platform for students to get engaged and excited about recycling. This year’s social media aspect to the Tournament means that more individuals will get involved and learn about the energy savings inherent in recycling — all in an environment of healthy competition,” says Esra Ozer, president of Alcoa Foundation.
“Recycling has a huge benefit to society and our vision is for all Americans to become avid recyclers. Supporting programs to help make recycling a habit is the best way for us to increase recycling rates,” says Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola North America. “At Coca-Cola, we are pleased to continue our support for RecycleMania to encourage college students to recycle more. Our hope is that students will create recycling habits that continue throughout their lives and impact future generations.”
Since the competition launched in 2001, millions of students from 727 colleges and universities have recycled and composted roughly 653 million pounds of material during the Tournament timeframe. Together, Tournament participants have prevented the release of nearly 900,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is comparable to removing seven million passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
A complete list of participants can be found at Recyclemania.org. Contact information for specific campuses is available to news media by calling 843/278-7686 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
RecycleMania was launched in 2001 as a friendly challenge between The Ohio University and Miami University in Oxford, OH, to increase recycling on their campuses. Today, RecycleMania is an independent program of RecycleMania, Inc. The program is made possible with sponsorship support from the Alcoa Foundation, and The Coca-Cola Company. Program management is provided by Keep America Beautiful with additional program support from the U.S. EPA’s WasteWise program and the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC). RecycleMania is proud to partner with the Campus Conservation Nationals, National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology. To learn more, visit recyclemania.org.