Skip to Main Content
Campus Life Campus Announcements Sustainability

Campus Race to Zero Waste competition under way: Reduce trash, increase recycling

Everyone on campus can be involved in the competition between universities to reduce trash and increase recycling. Recycle right: Rumpke Waste & Recycling now accepts paper and plastic cups (as of Feb. 1)

ecorep booth with students handing out reusable water bottles
Members of the student organization Eco Reps hand out reusable water bottles during an event on campus, in an effort to reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles. The organization promotes recycling and zero waste and regularly conducts trash/recycling audits in residence halls (image courtesy Eco Reps).
Campus Life Campus Announcements Sustainability

Campus Race to Zero Waste competition under way: Reduce trash, increase recycling

#Members of the student organization Eco Reps hand out reusable water bottles during an event on campus, in an effort to reduce the use of disposable plastic water bottles. The organization promotes recycling and zero waste and regularly conducts trash/recycling audits in residence halls (image courtesy Eco Reps).()

The Campus Race to Zero Waste (formerly RecycleMania) — an eight-week competition between universities to reduce trash and increase recycling — is under way nationwide.  

Everyone at Miami —students, staff and faculty — can be involved, said Adam Sizemore, director of sustainability.

Miami will participate in the original and largest category, the Stephen K. Gaski Per Capita Classic. It is named in honor of the late Steve Gaski, former director of building and special services at Miami and an early supporter of RecycleMania.  

During the Per Capita Classic, schools compete to see which can collect the most recyclables per person, based on total campus population: on- and off-campus students, faculty and staff.

Campus Race to Zero Waste helps to make us more mindful of how our individual choices contribute to waste, Sizemore said. Small steps in reducing, reusing, and recycling can add up for an impact across campus towards zero waste  — which is ultimately striving to eliminate sending anything to a landfill, he said. 

Rumpke Waste & Recycling, Miami's waste hauling provider, is partnering with the Office of Sustainability during the contest by weighing the amount of recyclables collected on campus eight times during the competition.

Campus Race to Zero Waste runs from Jan. 30-March 26.

What can be recycled — or not — on campus?

Rumkpe Waste & Recycling collects recycled materials from the single-stream blue bins on campus. 

A list of currently accepted recyclables is on the Sustainability website. 

New items: Paper and plastic cups 

As of Feb. 1, Rumpke now accepts paper, plastic, and aluminum beverage cups. Examples of acceptable cups include paper and plastic beverage cups from fast-food restaurants such as Starbucks and Dunkin, plastic souvenir cups and Ball brand aluminum cups. Colorful Solo brand cups are not accepted.

Cup recycling guidelines:

  • Plastic lids should be reattached to plastic cups.
  • Plastic lids from paper cups should be removed and discarded.
  • Remove straws and stoppers  - they are not accepted. 
  • Colorful Solo brand cups are not accepted. These cups are made from polystyrene and Rumpke currently does not have a secure, long-term end user for this material.
  • K-cups are not accepted.

Paper cups processed at Rumpke’s recycling facilities will be made into cardboard and paperboard products, plastic cups will be used to make new plastic containers and aluminum cups will be made into aluminum cans.

Learn more on Rumpke's cup recycling FAQ page.

Did you know RecycleMania began at Miami?

RecycleMania began in 2001 between Miami and Ohio universities. Stacy Edmonds Wheeler (M.En. ‘99) , who was then recycling coordinator at Miami, and Ed Newman, then recycling coordinator at Ohio University, co-founded the tournament as a friendly competition to help motivate students to recycle more.