For the second year in a row, a small university in Seattle, Wash., was crowned Grand Champion of RecycleMania, a waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities across 49 U.S. states and Canada.
At Antioch University Seattle, just four per cent of waste generated on campus ended up in the trash, with the other 96 per cent being composted or recycled. The 394 schools participating enrolled 4.5 million students, with the U.S. contingent representing nearly one in five U.S. college students. The RecycleMania program is managed by Keep America Beautiful.
Competing colleges and universities are ranked according to how much recycling, trash and food waste they collect over two months. Between the Feb. 1 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in on March 28, participating schools recycled or composted 80.1 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials, preventing the release of 129,411 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing annual emissions from 25,375 cars.
A new aspect of the competition, the “3R Actions Challenge,” encourages students to not only take action by reducing, reusing and recycling (commonly referred to as “The three R’s”), but also to share those actions via text, Twitter or a mobile app. Chatham University, University at Albany, University of Texas at Arlington, and The Ohio State University came out on top, reducing, reusing, recycling and “selfie-ing” their way to victory in their respective population divisions.
“RecycleMania took the competition to a new level in our 15th anniversary year,” said Stacy Wheeler, president and co-founder of RecycleMania Inc. “We are thrilled with the increased engagement around waste reduction and recycling spurred by 3R Actions, the new digital and social component of the RecycleMania Tournament.”
The colleges and universities taking home top prizes include: “Grand Champion” (percentage of overall waste that is recycled): Antioch University (96 percent)· “Per Capita Classic” (total pounds of recyclables per person): Loyola Marymount University (73.9· lbs.) “Waste Minimization” (least overall waste per person): North Lake College (3.3 lbs.)