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Monday, October 4, 2004
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Recycling program receives national recognition

ATHENS, Ohio (Oct. 4, 2004) -- RecycleMania, Ohio University's program to encourage efficient use and reuse of materials, was recognized by the National Recycling Coalition (NRC) as the Most Outstanding Recycling Innovation ? Product or Process of 2004. The award was presented on Sept. 1 in San Francisco.

RecycleMania is a program that began four years ago as a recycling competition between Ohio University and Miami University. "Since we already had the rivalry in athletics, we were curious as to who would be the 'top dog' in recycling," said Ed Newman, co-creator of RecycleMania and the refuse and recycling manager.

Ohio University and the eighteen other schools that have participated in RecycleMania put together a proposal of their efforts in hopes to be recognized by this distinguished organization. The NRC noticed the innovative way RecycleMania has increased the amount of recyclables in the most wasteful areas of college campuses ? residence halls, dining halls and off-campus housing ? and "The Recycle Maniacs" were chosen.

"The program is successful because it enhanced our ability to engage students in recycling, which is tough to do," Newman said.

Because of the national recognition RecycleMania has received, Newman expects the amount of participating schools to at least double in the upcoming year's competition.

"People from the bottom to the top noticed the value in the program which has caused it to be so popular," he said.

This February, between 30 and 50 schools from all over the country plan to participate in RecycleMania, and Newman is considering creating divisions to manage the increase and to keep the program "fun, effective, friendly and creative." The competition will last until March.

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and improvement of recycling by providing information and education to its members to conserve resources and benefit the environment. Each year, the NRC awards outstanding organizations in various categories for their notable commitment to recycling.

"To be recognized by our peers is significant," Newman said of the program's accomplishments. Although RecycleMania has received various honors before, this is its first award from the NRC.

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Media Contacts: Recycling and Refuse Manager Ed Newman, (740) 593-0231  

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