Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Friday, January 21, 2011

U-M targets Big Ten schools, other universities in RecycleMania program

The battle is on among U-M, other Big Ten schools, and colleges and universities nationally as RecycleMania 2011 kicks off in a challenge for campus recycling supremacy.


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Recycling Champions

The 10-week program runs Sunday through April 2, in which participating campuses compete to see which school can collect the largest amount of recyclables per capita, the largest amount of total recyclables, produce the least amount of trash per capita, or have the highest overall recycling rate over the course of the competition.

This will be the sixth year U-M has participated in RecycleMania. More than 500 schools throughout the United States have registered to participate, including six others from the Big Ten Conference.

"Our theme for this program is 'Choose to Reduce, There's No Excuse,'" says Alison Richardson, recycling coordinator with Waste Management Services. "The program is a fun way for the campus to learn more about the benefits of recycling, and for buildings to challenge their occupants to really focus on what they are consuming and to make changes that help the environment and the university."

U-M will participate in several RecycleMania categories, including the Per Capita Classic (pounds of recycling per capita), Waste Minimization (pounds of total waste per capita), the Gorilla Prize (total recycling weight), and Grand Champion (recycling rate.) Last year, U-M students, faculty, and staff delivered a 29.95 percent recycling rate during RecycleMania, placing the university 90th out of 267 schools in the Grand Champion Competition.

Also part of the program is the Recycling Champions building competition, which is an intra-campus waste-reduction and recycling competition between participating buildings on the Ann Arbor campus. Buildings' recycling and trash will be tracked each week, with awards given for the overall recycling rate, the most improved recycling rate compared with last year's 10-week period, and overall waste reduction also measured versus last year's performance.

Winning facilities last year were the Alumni Center (recycling rate of 56 percent), Palmer Commons (most improved recycling rate of 197.2 percent), and the Chemistry Building for its 55.8 percent waste reduction amount.