Jan 18, 2012
By Alyse Lorber
In its 12th year, the annual RecycleMania competition is once again challenging higher education to push waste reduction initiatives to the limit through eight weeks of intercollegiate competition.
Between Feb. 5 and March 31, OHIO will rival schools across the nation and abroad to reduce waste and increase recycling. The tournament is preceded by two pre-season reporting weeks, beginning Jan. 22.
OHIO has dominated the Mid-American Conference (MAC) in recent RecycleMania competitions, with impressive waste minimization and a high recycling rate. In last year's contest, OHIO led its MAC rivals in the recycling per capita category, recycling 18.26 pounds of materials per student, staff and faculty member.
OHIO also diverted a total of 500,467 pounds of waste from the landfill last year, placing 24th out of 363 schools in the Gorilla Prize category, which measures the total weight of recyclables. Athens also improved its cumulative recycling rate by 10.21 percentage points from the previous year and recycled 3.12 pounds more cardboard per person as well.
One of the University's main goals for this year's RecycleMania competition is to heighten awareness of OHIO's waste management and recycling programs, according to Ed Newman, recycling and refuse manager and co-founder of the competition.
"This year we're making sure recycling is accessible and convenient to everyone, especially in public places," he said. "We're targeting faculty, staff and administrators even more this year, not just the students."
Waste reduction and recycling activities on OHIO's campus in the upcoming weeks aim to increase participation in the competition and inspire lifelong habits among University community members. These activities will mainly take place at athletic events, residence halls and dining facilities.
"We're hoping to utilize more competition and rivalry around campus to get more people involved," Newman said. "Just doing a little bit can make a huge difference."
For more information or to follow competition results, visit www.recyclemaniacs.org.