University competes in RecycleMania to reduce waste

Margaret Ekblom, Senior Writer

Each spring the University competes against other colleges in a national waste-reducing contest called RecycleMania. The school that generates the least trash per capita or the largest number of recyclables throughout the 10-week program wins. The reward for winning the competition is national recognition, a press release, and an award made out of recyclable materials.

RecycleMania aims to allow schools to compare their recycling efforts with one another. It also serves as an impetus for students and staff to think about how much they waste and how best to recycle.

As stated on RecycleMania’s website, Using fair and friendly competition, RecycleMania provides tools and opportunities that inspire, empower, and mobilize colleges and universities to benchmark and improve efforts to reduce or eliminate waste.”

The contest categorizes results in terms of the total weekly recycling rate, largest number of recyclables per capita, least trash per capita, and waste minimization.

For the total weekly recycling rate, the University is ranked 92 out of 157 with a score of 30.367, which closely approximates the score the school has received the past few years. This places the University first in the Patriot League.

For per capita production, the University is ranked 24 out of 196 with a score of 3.197, which is is in line with the score the University has received in the past as well.

For waste minimization, the University is ranked 78 out of 92 with a score of 10.528, which is relatively high compared with previous years.

The University measures well but will likely improve its performance with the Single Stream Recycling system that was implemented in 2012. Since then, Single Stream Recycling has dramatically increased the recycling rate at the University. According to Director of Operations Merritt Pedrick, the University performs satisfactory in terms of recycling, but not as well in waste reduction.

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