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RecycleMania contest returns to Elon in February

Students and employees will square off against counterparts at hundreds of colleges and universities around the United States and Canada as part of a friendly competition to reduce landfill waste.

Nearly 400 colleges and universities across North America will compete against each other this spring to minimize their landfill waste and encourage recycling habits as part of the annual RecycleMania competition.

Throughout the Feb. 2-March 31 competition, all members of the Elon University community can participate by generating less trash (e.g., use reusable mugs instead of disposable cups at College Coffee) and putting recyclable items in the correct recycling bin. 

These collective efforts will conserve landfill space and contribute to Elon’s goal of reducing carbon emissions from solid waste by 80 percent by 2037. 

It also is another opportunity to compete to be among the top schools in North Carolina and the nation. In 2013 Elon ranked 161st out of the 364 schools competing in the RecycleMania Per Capita Classic, and the university ranked 7th out of the 14 North Carolina schools in the competition. 

Staff members in the university's Office of Sustainability said their goal this year is for Elon to be among the top five participating schools in North Carolina.

Places to start recycling and waste reduction efforts include:

  • Recyclable items put in the trash go to a landfill south of Greensboro. They do not get recycled. (Blue Lid Bins = ALL paper (even if your bin says white paper only)) ... Green Lid Bins = plastics #1-#7 (nearly all plastics), glass (all colors) and metals)
  • In late March students will collect paper from academic offices. If you need to conduct a little ‘Spring Cleaning’ and clear out your paper files, now is the time.
  • Ask about how to make your meetings and gatherings zero landfill events.

RecycleMania is a contest sponsored by a national nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors made up of recycling and sustainability managers from a variety of participating universities. Program management for RecycleMania is provided by Keep America Beautiful. Program support is provided the US Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise program and the College & University Recycling Coalition.

Eric Townsend,
1/30/2014 12:50 PM