Several Recyclebots like these will be located throughout Athens until March 29.

Photo courtesy of: Olivia Wallace

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Bobcats lead RecycleMania

Ohio University leads the Mid-American Conference in this year’s annual RecycleMania competition, and collected 330,790 pounds of recyclables along with 120,208 pounds of composted food waste and an additional 9,200 pounds of electronics and batteries at the start of this week, which is week five of the eight-week competition. 

OHIO Recycling and Refuse Manager Andrew Ladd said there are several categories to the competition, but the main three are the Gorilla Prize, Grand Champion, and Per Capita Classic. The Gorilla Prize is awarded to the school with the most pounds recycled, which is the category OHIO won last year in the MAC. This category reflects how many pounds of waste have been diverted from the landfill, and represents the primary category OHIO strives to win, he said.

After five weeks, Ohio University is ranked 22nd in the nation, is number one in the MAC, and is beating Ohio State University.

"We are proud to say that Ohio University is currently winning the MAC in all three of the major categories,” Ladd said. “At the rate the OU community is recycling and composting, we are on course to divert nearly three quarters of a million pounds in just eight weeks.”

The Grand Champion category is the recycling rate percentage, and Ohio University is ranked 66th nationally at 37.6 percent. The Per Capita Classic measures how many pounds each person, staff, faculty member or student has collected. Ohio University is currently ranked 48th in the nation and first within the MAC schools with 11.5 pounds per person. In comparison, Ohio State is 275th in the nation with 1.6 pounds of recycled material per person.

As part of OHIO’s ongoing effort to educate and create continual awareness about recycling, 10 “RecycleBots” made from recycled electronics are currently located within the city of Athens through March 29.

“Creating these artistic robots out of recycled E-Waste and displaying them around town and campus has been a fun way to bring attention to RecycleMania as well as educate that recycling goes way beyond dropping our paper or plastic into the blue bin,” Ladd said. “Many may not realize that Ohio University recycles many of the more difficult items such as electronics, cell phones, discs and data, batteries, light bulbs, books, styrofoam, plastic bags and more.”

Students and staff can find these electronic characters at Donkey Coffee and Espresso, the Athens Community Center, Brenen’s Coffee Café, Whit’s Frozen Custard, Alden Library, and several OHIO dining halls, including Shively, Nelson and Boyd. Student organization EcoReps also will have a table set up outside Baker University Center to educate everyone about recycling, Ladd noted.

Follow @OUCampusRecycle on Twitter to discover the latest recycling statistics and see where OHIO ranks. Anyone who retweets or mentions Campus Recycling can earn prizes, and if a picture of a RecycleBot is tweeted, they are entered into a drawing for a gift card to various uptown businesses.

Students and staff can continue doing their part by recycling and participating in upcoming RecycleMania events. One of the most important upcoming events is Electronics Recycle Day, which will be held on March 29 in the Peden Stadium parking lot from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. If it has an electrical plug or componentry, Ladd said it can be recycled. Most electronics and appliances can be dropped off at no charge. Non-flat screen TV’s can be dropped off for a $20 charge.