U-M finishes fifth among Big Ten schools in RecycleMania


U-M finished the 2014 intercollegiate RecycleMania competition with a nearly 30 percent recycling rate, placing fifth in the Big Ten and 120th among the 256 schools participating in the eight-week recycling contest.

This was the university’s ninth year participating in RecycleMania, in which colleges and universities across the United States and Canada compared their waste-reduction levels and pounds of recycling on a weekly basis between Feb. 2 and March 29.

This year, U-M and Michigan State University were neck in neck throughout the friendly competition, but U-M’s recycling rate fell two points in the final week to finish just behind MSU in the Grand Champions category.

This sign on display in West Quad was made of recycled materials. (Photo by Eva Greenthal)

U-M, which had an overall recycling rate of 29.123 percent, participated in three other categories:

• Per Capita Classic (largest amount of recycleables per person): 147th out of 333 schools, 10.929 pounds of recycleables per capita.

• Gorilla Prize (largest collection of total recycleables): 13th out of 337 schools, 715,684 pounds of recycleables.

• Waste Minimization (least amount of total waste per person): 70th out of 149 schools, 37.526 pounds total waste per capita.

The Waste Reduction & Recycling Office promoted RecycleMania through its social media outlets and on campus with banners picturing Rufus, the U-M Recycling mascot, slam-dunking a recycleable into a bin and telling students, faculty, and staff to “Get in the game!”

The Waste Reduction & Recycling Office is pleased with the results and hopes that the event increased awareness and enthusiasm towards recycling on campus.

Alongside RecycleMania, the university held its Eighth Annual Recycling Champions Building Competition between Jan. 19 and March 29.

University buildings competed for titles in three categories: Recycling Rate Competition, Most Improved Recycling Rate, and Waste Reduction.

The top three 2014 winners in the Recycling Rate Competition were: Argus II Building, 63.3 percent; Fleming Administration Building, 62.3 percent; and Bonisteel Interdisciplinary Research Building, 57.7 percent.

The LSA Building won Most Improved Recycling Rate, up 196.6 percent from last year. Stockwell Hall won the Waste Reduction category, reducing its total waste by 34 percent since last year.


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