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RecycleMania 2011: Competition begins at the bin

01/31/2011

Miami University has been a “force to be reckoned with” during the past decade of RecycleMania, the national collegiate recycling competition that runs Feb. 6 – April 2 this year: winning three times and placing in the top four since its beginning in 2001 through 2008.

When the competition changed in 2009 to include the entire campus population — all students, faculty and staff — rather than the on-campus student population only, Miami fell behind, placing 36th in 2009 with 23.5 cumulative lbs recycled/Total Campus Population and placing 289th out of 346 in the 2010 Per Capita Classic with 4.62 cumulative lbs recycled/Total Campus Population.

This year Miami hopes to regain its RecycleMania success, said David Smith, environmental education and recycling coordinator.

“Everyone on campus is asked to recycle - place your bottles, cans and paper in the recycling bins located in every building on campus.”

The competition has grown every year since its start in 2001, when it was a friendly competition between Miami and Ohio Universities. This year 619 schools from 49 states will participate, 385 in the Competition Division and 234 in the Benchmark Division.

Pre-season “trials” began Jan. 23, with the official competition running eight weeks between Feb. 6 and April 2.

Miami will compete in the Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita Classic (named in memory of Stephen Gaski, director of building and special services at Miami who died in 2005), the original competition, to see which school can collect the most combined recyclables per person.

•Results will be based on cumulative weight recyclables per total campus population: on- and off-campus students, faculty and staff.

• Collected and measured recyclables are: bottles, cans, paper and corrugated cardboard (Recyclables are not removed from trash cans – they must be deposited in bins).
A residence hall recycling competition will run concurrently with the eight-week RecycleMania competition.

• The 2010 residence hall recycling competition winners were Bishop, Wells and Clawson Halls, placing first, second and third, respectively.

In 2006 RecycleMania organizers created a case study of Miami that highlights “a solid program supported by dedicated students and staff members...Miami is a force to be reckoned with during the (10) weeks of RecycleMania, when the school consistently steps above the competition to claim the title of RecycleMania champion.”

“Competing must be a campuswide effort which begins at the recycling bin,” said David Prytherch, Miami’s sustainability coordinator. “If it’s not in a blue or green bin it goes to the landfill, so better sorting is our easiest and best way to success.”

The 2010 RecycleMania Per Capita Classic winners were the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, with 81.8 cumulative pounds recycled per person; Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering, with 63.1 pounds per person; and Colorado College, with 60.8 pounds per person.

The RecyleMania competition is a trademarked program of the Recyclemania Steering Committee in coordination with the College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC).

Program management is provided by Keep America Beautiful in coordination with the U.S. EPA’s WasteWise program.

For more about RecycleMania, including weekly competition results, go to ww.recyclemaniacs.org.

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