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RecycleMania Kicks Off 2013 Collegiate Recycling Competition
13th Annual Competition Builds Impact with new Basketball Game Day and Film Plastics Recycling Categories
STAMFORD, Conn. (Feb. 4, 2013) — RecycleMania is back in action as college campuses compete to see who can reduce, reuse and recycle the most on-campus waste. For an eight-week period, beginning today and running alongside the NCAA basketball tournament, colleges and universities take part in an exciting competition that increases recycling participation by students and staff, while raising awareness about waste reduction programs on campuses.
RecycleMania will run through March 30, 2013, with the involvement of 523 schools, more than 4.4 million students, and nearly 1 million faculty and staff participating in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. New York has the best representation with 38 colleges participating, followed by Texas and Pennsylvania. The list of institutions taking part is diverse, ranging from Tulane University to Washington State University to Harrisburg Area Community College in Pennsylvania.
Schools compete in 11 categories to see which can recycle the most paper, cardboard, cans and bottles, and food waste on a per capita basis; which can produce the least amount of waste; and which recycles the largest percentage of their overall waste stream. In one of two new categories – Game Day: Basketball – schools are challenged to increase their recycling and reduce waste generation at a single home basketball game. A second new category targeting film plastics will call attention to the recyclability of items such as dry cleaning bags, shrink wrap and shopping bags.
Colleges and universities choose which categories to participate in and have flexibility to compete in the formal rankings or go at their own pace in a less formal “Benchmark” division. Each week schools record how much was recycled or thrown out and the standings are regularly updated.
“RecycleMania’s power comes from the way it taps school spirit to motivate students who may not react to a traditional environmental message,” according to Bill Rudy, recycling manager at Brigham Young University and President of RecycleMania, Inc.
“Promoting recycling and waste reduction to college students is an important step to building and sustaining vibrant communities, both on campuses and beyond,” said Keep America Beautiful President & CEO Matt McKenna. “Our organization is thrilled to sponsor and administer the RecycleMania program as part of our effort to engage the future generation of environmental stewards.”
The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of the Alcoa Foundation, the American Forest & Paper Association, The Coca-Cola Company and SCA.
“Alcoa Foundation is proud to sponsor RecycleMania and partner with Keep America Beautiful to educate, empower and motivate Millennials to reduce and recycle waste,” said Paula Davis, President, Alcoa Foundation. “Alcoa is committed to increasing U.S. recycling rates to 75 percent by 2015, and colleges and universities present enormous opportunities to advance this goal.”
“Programs like RecycleMania teach and motivate people to recycle and to measure the results of their efforts,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman. “The paper industry has achieved noteworthy recovery goals for years, but we cannot claim sole responsibility for these results; it is thanks to the millions of individuals who make the choice to recycle every day. Our industry has pledged to exceed 70 percent recovery of our products for recycling by 2020, and initiatives like RecycleMania will help us get there.”
“All of us can help reduce waste. Discovering ways that you can make recycling a habit is the best way for us to increase recycling rates,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola Refreshments. “At Coca-Cola, we support recycling programs that drive awareness and participation. RecycleMania is a friendly competition that encourages college students to recycle more, which we hope will turn into habits that continue throughout their lives.”
“For SCA, our sustainability commitment encompasses everything we do. It drives the value added solutions we create for customers, our daily operations and the responsible management of our forest in Sweden. Here in North America we use recycled materials to make many of our products, with a focus on efficiency and using environmentally sound processes,” said Joseph Russo, vice president, sales & marketing, SCA’s Away From Home Professional Hygiene business in North America. “Our ongoing participation in RecycleMania is one of the many ways SCA inspires others to join us in our sustainability commitment and establish lifelong recycling habits. We’re looking forward to supporting another year of spirited competition between hundreds of universities and colleges across the country.”
In 2012, 92 million pounds of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which prevented the release of nearly 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E). This reduction in greenhouse gases is comparable to the annual emissions from more than 25,800 passenger cars; electricity use of more than nearly 16,400 homes; or the burning of nearly 705 railcars’ worth of coal.