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Environment / Sustainability

RecycleMania 2012

February 7, 2012

The annual collegiate recycling tournament "RecycleMania" kicks off Feb. 5 and will run through March 31. Colorado State will compete among hundreds of universities and colleges across the country and the world.

RecycleMania is a friendly competition and benchmarking tool for colleges and universities to promote recycling and waste-reduction practices on campus.

Over an 8-week period, schools will report recycling and trash data on a weekly basis, competing in these tournament contests:

  • the highest overall recycling rate (Grand Champion),
  • the largest amount of recyclables per person (Per Capita Classic), and
  • the least amount of trash per capita (Waste Minimization).

Nearly 550 schools from the United States and Canada are signed up for the 2012 competition.

Recycle more, waste less

With each week's reports and rankings, participating schools watch how their results fluctuate against other schools and use this to rally their campus communities to reduce and recycle more.

"The first year Colorado State participated in RecycleMania (2005), CSU competed against 17 schools and our recycling rate was 31.64 percent," said Sheela Backen, Facilities Management program manager.

In 2011, CSU placed 21st among more than 600 colleges and universities participating in RecycleMania. As a campus, CSU's recycling rate was more than 53 percent.

On campus competition

During the national competition, Colorado State also hosts a recycling competition on campus among its residence halls and apartments.

The winning residence hall and apartments win the coveted RecycleMania trophy as well as funds to further green efforts in their community. In 2011, The Live Green Team recognized Lory Student Apartments win with a recycling rate of 59 percent. This year, the winners will be recognized at the Student Sustainability Fair and Earth Day Celebration on April 18 on the plaza.

Colorado State has come a long way since that first competition. Before 1990, CSU land filled nearly all of its trash. In 1990, Facilities Management began a pilot recycling project with a grant from the Colorado Office of Energy Conservation. In 1995, the number of dumpsters was reduced by half, curbside collection of trash began, the first automated recycle truck was purchased, and larger recycle containers were distributed throughout campus. In 2007, recycling collection changed from multi-stream to single-stream collection. With all of these recycling improvements, CSU's recycling rate climbed dramatically.

Largest amount of recyclables wins, so start recycling and make Colorado State University number one!