STONY BROOK, NY., January 29, 2007 — Stony Brook University is one of only 200 universities in the U.S. -- and the only one on Long Island -- to participate in RecycleMania, which pits colleges and universities nationwide in a contest to see who can reduce, reuse, and recycle the most campus waste.
Over a 10-week period from January 28 to April 7, 2007, participating schools will compete in various categories measuring the success of their recycling and waste reduction efforts. This year’s competing schools, the most in the competition’s history, represent 42 states and the District of Columbia and include institutions ranging from small two-year community colleges to Ivy League universities.
RecycleMania helps campus recycling coordinators rally student, faculty, and staff participation in recycling and waste reduction programs, while offering bragging rights and special awards made out of recycled materials to the winning schools. Though many schools have had recycling and waste reduction programs for years, studies have found that large volumes of recyclables still end up in the trash. RecycleMania motivates campus communities to recycle more often. By framing recycling in competitive terms, RecycleMania taps the same intercollegiate spirit that drives sports rivalries.
The competition is divided into several categories. The two main categories are the Per Capita Classic, which measures the total amount of recyclables collected per person, and Waste Minimization, in which schools compete to see who can generate the least amount of overall solid waste per capita. From these two categories a grand champion is designated based on who recycles the greatest overall percentage of their solid waste stream. Additional recognition is given to schools that collect the most paper, beverage containers, cardboard, and food waste for recycling, as well as the school that collects the greatest overall amount of recyclables.
Stony Brook’s participation in RecycleMania is led by Michael Youdelman in the Department of Recycling and Resource Management, who can be reached at (631) 632-9673.
Each week, the standings are posted online for all participants to see, motivating campuses to work harder as they aim not only for the top prizes, but also to beat out their own rival schools.
To help schools promote the competition on campus, RecycleMania provides professionally developed promotional materials and web and email forums for recycling coordinators to share tips and best practices. The RecycleMania competition is organized by collegiate recycling coordinators from various universities, and is jointly administered by EPA’s WasteWise program and the NRC. The competition is endorsed by NRC’s College and University Recycling Council and the National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology program. Generous financial and promotional support is provided by The Coca-Cola Company.
Who’s Participating This Year?
RecycleMania has grown to 201 colleges and universities this year, more than doubling the 93 schools participating in 2006. The states with the most participants include Pennsylvania (20), California (13), Massachusetts (12) and New York (12). Although the northeast has traditionally been the best represented region, the competition has grown in popularity in other parts of the country including Virginia (9), Texas (8), Illinois (8), South Carolina (7) and Oregon (6). In addition to the District of Columbia, eight states are represented for the first time in 2007: Nevada, Louisiana, Florida, Alaska, Hawaii, Arkansas, Delaware and West Virginia. The list of institutions taking part is diverse, ranging from Princeton University to Ohio State University, Virginia Military Institute to Prince William Sound Community College in southeastern Alaska. For a full list of participating schools by state, go to http://recyclemaniacs.org/universities.asp. Contact information for specific campuses is available by calling (843) 278-7686 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
History of the RecycleMania Competition
The RecycleMania competition began in the spring of 2001 as a friendly challenge between recycling coordinators at two schools in Ohio, Miami University and Ohio University. From the outset, the competition was meant as a way to get students and staff more excited about participating in recycling efforts. That first year, Miami University won, collecting 41.2 lbs. of recyclables for each person on campus. The following year Miami and Ohio were joined by two more schools, Bowling Green State University and Harvard University, with Bowling Green winning the title with 48 lbs. per capita. Since then the competition has continued to grow in popularity, doubling the number of schools involved each year.
Learn more about RecycleMania at www.recyclemaniacs.org.