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University Kicks Off 2017 Recyclemania Competition
Syracuse University is once again participating in the 2017 RecycleMania Collegiate Recycling Competition, which aims to promote waste reduction and recycling activities on campuses across the United States and Canada.
The competition starts February 5 and runs through April 1. The results will be announced in April. Winning schools will receive an award made out of recyclable materials and will host a special traveling trophy for this year.
During the competition, each university reports the amount of recycling and trash collected every week and will be ranked based on their actual weight. Universities will also be ranked according to a recycling rate of total waste and the least amount of combined recycling and trash, according to RecycleMania’s website.
Syracuse University follows the Onondaga County Source Separation Law in disposal of on-campus recycling items of mandatory recyclables, such as paper, cardboard, bottles and cans. The University has different policies for specialized recyclables, which includes batteries, electronics, polystyrene cold shipping boxes, fluorescent light bulbs, scrap metal, compostable yard waste and construction debris. Universities dining centers also compost pre- and post-consumer waste, according to Syracuse University Food Services.
“Each year we improve our ranking or recycling rate,” says Melissa Cadwell, sustainability coordinator of Sustainability Management. “RecycleMania is a promotional effort to reduce our waste through competition, and each year it is great to see the University reduce waste and increase recycling.”
“This competition gives colleges and universities a fun competition edge on a great way to help the environment,” says Meg Lowe, sustainability assistant in Sustainability Management.
Last year, 4.8 million students and staff at 350 colleges and universities participated in this competition, and a total of 79.3 million pounds of recyclable and food organics were collected. According to RecycleMania 2016 result report, the competition “prevented the release of 122,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent into the atmosphere.”
Syracuse University came in 15th out of 276 in the Gorilla Prize, which is ranked according to the gross tonnage of combined paper, cardboard, bottles and cans, with a total of 934,280 pounds of recyclables collected last year. The University came in 27th out of 269 in the Per Capita Classic, which measures the weight of recyclables divided by the campus population and for the Grand Champion, a category that ranks schools’ overall recycling rates, the University came in 48th out of 207, with a recycling rate of 46.9 percent.
To learn more about RecycleMania, visit https://recyclemaniacs.org.
For more information on sustainability and recycling efforts, visit http://sustainability.syr.edu, follow @SustainableSU on Twitter or check out the Syracuse University Sustainability Facebook page.
Story by Jiangyifan Ke, public relations intern with Sustainability Management