WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 17, 2017) — Loyola Marymount University and Rhode Island School of Design have been crowned the winners of the 2017 RecycleMania competition. With a recycling rate of more than 83.9 percent, Loyola Marymount University is the top school in the Diversion category, while the Rhode Island School of Design is first in the Per Capita Classic category. RecycleMania is the nation’s premier waste reduction and recycling competition among colleges and universities, managed by Keep America Beautiful.
The 2017 tournament featured 320 schools participating from 46 states in the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada, with an enrollment of 4.1 million students.
Participating colleges and universities are ranked in various categories according to how much recycling and food waste they divert from the landfill over two months. Between the Feb. 5 kickoff and the final recycling weigh-in on April 1, participating schools recycled or composted 69.9 million pounds of waste, preventing the release of 77,791 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2E) into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to preventing the annual emissions from 16,400 cars.
A new category in this year’s competition, Race to Zero Waste, focuses on efforts to reduce the amount of waste generated in the first place. The inaugural winner is Agnes Scott College, which generated less than .0075 pounds of waste total (trash + recycling + organics) per 1,000 sq. ft. in the campus library over a month-long period. The “Game Day: Basketball” category, in its fourth year, brought excitement courtside, as Ohio University recycled or composted over 95 percent of the waste generated during a home basketball game versus Bowling Green State University.
Complete results for these and other categories can be found at https://recyclemania.org, including a breakout that shows how schools performed by athletic conference, institution size, state, and other groupings. The national winners of each category are recognized with an award made from recycled materials.
“RecycleMania participants continuously demonstrate their commitment to finding innovations in recycling and new ways to reduce waste,” said Stacy Wheeler, president of RecycleMania, Inc. “What students do on their campuses now will influence their lifelong recycling habits. They are the next generation of recycling leaders who will ultimately address some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.”
“RecycleMania provides us with an opportunity to heighten awareness about the importance of recycling among college students, and to help make recycling become a part of their daily routine,” said Brenda Pulley, senior vice president, recycling, Keep America Beautiful. “Our hope is that these recycling behaviors stick with them throughout their lives and that they share what they’ve learned with family, friends and other students.”
Participants ranged from large universities such as Stanford University and Michigan State University to small private schools like Colgate University, as well as two-year colleges like Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana. The competition is made possible with the sponsorship support of The Coca-Cola Company and Rubbermaid Commercial Products®.
“At Coca-Cola, we are committed to reducing waste in communities by increasing recycling. But, we know we can’t do it alone. By working together with other businesses and organizations through initiatives like RecycleMania, we are able to have the greatest positive impact,” said Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability at Coca-Cola North America. “RecycleMania is a great way for students to get involved in their school recycling program and create lasting habits that will benefit communities well into the future.”
“Rubbermaid Commercial Products is proud of Loyola Marymount University, Rhode Island School of Design, and everyone nationwide who participated in RecycleMania,” said Anna Whitton, vice president of marketing, Rubbermaid Commercial Products. “We are committed to developing products that make recycling easier in commercial environments, and it’s exciting to see so many students involved in initiatives to help improve sustainability efforts.”
Since the competition launched in 2001, millions of students at nearly 800 colleges and universities have recycled and composted over 890 million pounds of material during the tournament timeframe. Together, tournament participants have prevented the release of nearly 2.37 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, which is comparable to removing over 500,000 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.
The RecycleMania program is governed by a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization called RecycleMania, Inc. made up of a board of directors who are recycling and sustainability managers from participating universities. RecycleMania partnered with the US EPA’s WasteWise program, College and University Recycling Coalition (CURC), Keep America Beautiful, National Wildlife Federation. For complete details, visit RecycleMania.org.