RecycleMania Kicks Off 2014 Collegiate Recycling Competition

Through March 29, a special kind of madness is in the air at college campuses across the U.S.—the 14th annual RecycleMania, the national tournament for colleges and universities competing to reduce, reuse, and recycle the most. For an eight-week period, beginning this week and running concurrently with the NCAA basketball tournament, colleges and universities take part in a competition that increases recycling participation by students and staff, while raising awareness about waste reduction on campuses.

This year, 461 schools, with more than 5.3 million students and 1.2 million-plus faculty and staff, are participating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Canada. New York has the best representation with 32 colleges participating, followed by Pennsylvania and Texas. A diverse mix of schools are taking part, ranging from Harvard University to Clemson University, to Sitting Bull College in North Dakota.

The competition is made possible with the continued support of SCA Tissue, the American Forest & Paper Association, Alcoa Foundation, and The Coca-Cola Co.

Schools compete in any of 11 categories targeting commonly recycled or composted materials such as paper and paper-based packaging, aluminum, plastics bottles, electronics, and food organics. Updated rankings published online each Friday allow schools to track their progress and rally to improve their standings against rival colleges.

Promotional resources are offered to help schools spread the word on campus, including free posters and banners, small "stipend" grants, and "Event in a Box" toolkits featuring activity planning tips, promotional giveaway items, and other materials needed to stage attention-getting events.

In 2013, 91 million lb. of recyclables and organic materials were recovered, which prevented the release of greenhouse gases comparable to the carbon sequestered by 99,535 acres of U.S. forests in one year.

More information about Recyclemania is available online.