Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Monday, January 9, 2012

RecycleMania to take over campus Jan. 22

A recycling craze is coming to campus as U-M gears up to compete against more than 600 other colleges and universities during RecycleMania 2012.

The 10-week program will run Jan. 22-March 31 and will measure U-M's recycling and reduction efforts in comparison to other universities nationwide.

  Rufus, U-M's recycling mascot, poses at the Ann Arbor Materials Recovery Facility. Click here for more information on RecycleMania. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling)

"For a campus community with a competitive spirit, RecycleMania is an exciting time to get students, faculty and staff to get involved," says Alison Richardson, recycling coordinator with the office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, a part of Plant Building and Grounds Services.

"The program not only challenges our campus to beat other Big Ten schools, but also helps raise awareness of the available resources on campus, such as the single-stream recycling system or the outdoor recycling bins."

U-M will compete in four categories:

• Largest collection of total recyclables

• Largest amount of recyclables per capita

• Least amount of waste per capita

• Highest recycling rate during the competition

A new aspect of this year's challenge is the involvement of the Planet Blue Student Ambassadors.

"The Planet Blue Ambassadors will be essential to a successful RecycleMania," says Tracy Artley, sustainability program coordinator with Plant Building and Grounds Services. "They have the opportunity to promote recycling to their fellow students, friends and neighbors and impact their behavior where they live in the residence halls."

Simultaneous to RecycleMania, the office of Waste Reduction and Recycling will host the sixth annual Recycling Champions competition. The intracampus competition involves campus buildings competing to beat their 2011 recycling and waste reduction totals. The competition monitors improvement and awards performance in three areas: most improved recycling rate, largest waste reduction rate and highest recycling rate.

The successes of the Recycling Champion program, and an interest by past participants, led to the creation of the "Recycling Best Practices Report."

"The report serves as a great resource for others about how to reduce waste and increase recycling," Artley says.

RecycleMania 2012 marks the seventh year U-M has participated in the competition.

Last year, U-M ranked sixth among 288 universities with a total collection of 810,747 pounds of recyclables, and placed 123rd with the highest recycling rate for the duration of the competition.